PEOPLE OF POHNPEI, in whom Almighty God has bestowed sovereignty over this
sea, the air, space, and the islands within, do now by His grace establish this
Through the exercise of our sovereign right of
self-determination, we accept without hesitation the challenge and
responsibility to serve as the guardians of our people and islands, both now and
in the future; to protect and uphold the inalienable rights of our people; to
protect and maintain the heritage and traditions of each of our islands; and to
protect and promote the harmony and prosperity of all the people of
acknowledge the strength that comes from the union of our individual cultural
past; we are united by a common sea; and we freely express our desire to live
and work together in peace and harmony for the common good of the people of
Pohnpei and all mankind.
With this Constitution, we proclaim and reaffirm the
Sovereignty of Pohnpei.
Territory and Jurisdiction
Section 1. Territory.
The territory of Pohnpei
comprises the islands and reefs of Pohnpei, a marine space of two hundred
nautical miles measured outward from appropriate baselines, the sea bed,
subsoil, water column, insular and continental shelves, and any other territory
and water belonging to any island of Pohnpei by historical right, custom, or
Section 2. Jurisdiction.
Unless limited by
obligations assumed by Pohnpei, or by its unilateral act, the waters connecting
the islands and reefs of Pohnpei are internal waters, regardless of dimension,
and the jurisdiction of Pohnpei extends to the entire territory of Pohnpei
including its marine space, the seabed, subsoil, water column, insular and
continental shelves, and the airspace over lands and waters.
Section 3. New Territory.
New territory may be added
to Pohnpei in accordance with statute, which may provide for the local
government therefor if appropriate. Such statute shall require approval by
the voters of Pohnpei in a referendum in which approval is given by the majority
of the registered voters of Pohnpei, or such greater number of votes as may be
specified in the statute proposing such addition.
This constitution is the
supreme law of Pohnpei. An act of government in conflict with this
Constitution is invalid to the extent of conflict.
Section 1. Citizens and Pweldak on the
Effective Date of this Constitution.
A person who is a legal resident of Pohnpei is a citizen
and pweldak of Pohnpei if either of his parents at the time of his birth was a
citizen and pweldak of Pohnpei.
A person who was a citizen or pweldak of the local
governments in Pohnpei immediately prior to the effective date of this
Constitution is a citizen and pweldak of Pohnpei while a legal resident of
Section 2. Citizens on the Effective Date of
A person who was a citizen
or a legal resident of Pohnpei on the effective date of this Constitution is a
citizen of Pohnpei while a legal resident of Pohnpei.
Section 3. Naturalization.
The Legislature shall
provide legislation of naturalization and loss of citizenship.
Section 4. Citizens of New Territory.
Citizens of newly acquired
territory of Pohnpei shall become citizens of Pohnpei as provided by
Section 1. Freedom of Speech.
No government action may
deny or impair the right of every person to speak, write, and publish freely on
any subject and the right to receive information on all subjects. A person
may be held responsible for untruthful statements injuring other persons without
privilege, and for statements creating a clear and immediate danger of unlawful
conduct or substantial injury to the public.
Section 2. Freedom of Association and
The right of all people
peaceably to assemble, to associate, to consult for their common interests, and
to petition the government may not be abridged.
Section 3. Equal Rights.
No law or other government
action may deny or impair the equal rights of all persons on account of gender,
race, ancestry, national origin, religion, language, or social status. No
person may be denied the equal protection of the law.
Section 4. Due Process of Law.
No person may be deprived
of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Private property
may not be taken except for a public purpose with just
Section 5. Contract Rights.
No law may impair an
existing contractual obligation, except for the protection of an essential
Section 6. Imprisonment for Debt.
No person may be imprisoned
solely for failure to discharge a debt.
Section 7. Ex Post Facto and
No person may be held
criminally liable for an act that was not a legally recognized crime at the time
of its commission. An increased penalty for a criminal act shall not apply
to an act committed before the increase. No person may be found guilty of
a crime or be punished for a crime except by a court of law.
Section 8. Searches and Seizures.
The right of all people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and property against unreasonable searches and seizures may not
No warrant may be issued except upon probable cause
supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be
searched, and the person or thing to be seized.
Section 9. Rights of the Accused.
In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall be
presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The accused shall be promptly informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation; he shall have the right to counsel; he shall have the
right to a speedy, public, and impartial trial; he shall have the right to be
confronted with the witnesses against him and to examine them fully; he shall
have the right to compel the obtaining of evidence and the attendance of
witnesses in his favor; and he shall not be compelled to testify against
No person may be put in jeopardy more than once for a
Excessive bail may not be required, nor excessive fines
Cruel or unusual punishment may not be
Section 10. Habeas Corpus.
The privilege of the writ
of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in accordance with law when the
public safety requires during insurrection, rebellion, or
Section 11. Death Penalty.
No crime may be punished by
Section 12. Slavery and Involuntary
Slavery is prohibited.
Involuntary servitude is prohibited except to punish crime after
conviction in accordance with law.
Section 13. Freedom of Movement.
Subject only to the
requirements of public health, order, and safety all persons have freedom of
travel and movement.
Section 14. Military Action.
In time of peace, no soldier may be quartered in any
house without the consent of the owner and occupants, nor in time of war except
in a manner prescribed by statute.
Just compensation shall be provided for the use, taking
or destruction of the property of the people, and for personal injury and death
arising from military action. Such compensation shall be the
responsibility of the military force causing such damage.
Section 1. Customs and Traditions.
This Constitution upholds,
respects, and protects the customs and traditions of the traditional kingdoms of
Section 2. Protection of Customs and
The Government of Pohnpei
shall respect and protect the customs and traditions of Pohnpei. Statutes
may be enacted to uphold customs or traditions. If such a statute is
challenged as violating the rights guaranteed by this Constitution, it shall be
upheld upon proof of the existence and regular practice of the custom or
tradition and the reasonableness of the means established for its protection, as
determined by the Pohnpei Supreme Court.
Section 3. Family Obligations.
To strengthen and retain good family relations in
Pohnpei, as needed, this Constitution recognizes and protects the responsibility
and authority of parents over their children.
This Constitution also acknowledges the duties and
rights of children in regard to respect and good family relations as
Suffrage and Elections
Section 1. Suffrage.
A citizen of Pohnpei who,
at the time of election, has attained the age of eighteen years and has not
committed a felony for which he is on parole or probation or under a sentence
shall be qualified to vote. Other qualifications may be prescribed by
Section 2. Right to Vote and Hold
No property qualification,
tax, or fee may be imposed on the right to vote or hold office.
Section 3. Conduct of Elections.
The Legislature shall, by
statute, provide for voter registration and the conduct of elections.
Voting shall be by secret ballot.
Section 4. Time of Elections.
General elections for the Governor, the Lieutenant
Governor, and the Legislature shall be held simultaneously every four years on
the second Tuesday in November.
Special elections shall be held as provided by
Runoff elections required by law shall be held
twenty-eight days after the date of the election which resulted in the
requirement for runoff.
If a state of emergency declared by the Governor in
accordance with the Constitution prevents the holding of an election when
scheduled, the election shall be held not later than thirty days after the
emergency ends. Unless otherwise provided by statute, after postponement
of an election due to a declared state of emergency, the new election date shall
be proclaimed by the Governor.
Section 5. Initiative and Referendum.
The Legislature shall
provide by statute for enactment of laws by initiative petition requiring
signature of not more than thirty-five percent of the qualified voters of
Pohnpei, and for referendum requiring not more than sixty percent of the votes
cast for approval of a proposal.
The Government of Pohnpei
Section 1. Resources and Environment.
The Governor of Pohnpei
shall establish and faithfully execute comprehensive plans for the conservation
of natural resources and the protection of the environment.
Section 2. Development.
The Government of Pohnpei
shall promote economic development and shall establish and faithfully execute a
development plan for Pohnpei.
Section 3. Education.
The Government of Pohnpei shall provide educational services for the public.
Compulsory education through a grade to be set by statute shall be enforced by
law. Public education of citizens of Pohnpei through a grade as prescribed
by statute shall be free of fees. Any fees imposed for public education
shall be limited to the ability to pay.
The Government of Pohnpei shall provide for the regulation of educational
services. All public and private educational institutions shall comply
with minimum standards of educational achievement which shall be established by
the Government of Pohnpei.
The Government of Pohnpei shall establish and faithfully execute comprehensive
plans for the continual improvement of educational standards and
The Government of Pohnpei shall establish and maintain a library, museum,
Section 4. Health Services.
The Government of Pohnpei shall provide health care services for the
The Government of Pohnpei shall establish and faithfully execute comprehensive
plans for the continual improvement in health care services.
The Government of Pohnpei shall provide for the regulation of health care
Section 5. History and Culture.
The Government of Pohnpei
shall establish and faithfully execute comprehensive plans for the
identification, preservation, and administration, for the benefit of the public,
of places, artifacts, and information of historical and cultural
Section 6. Public Safety.
The Government of Pohnpei shall establish and faithfully execute
comprehensive plans for continual improvement in the protection of the safety
and security of person and property.
There shall be a Pohnpei Government agency responsible for maintaining peace and
order in times of crisis and natural disaster.
Section 7. Delegation of
The Government of Pohnpei
may delegate to the local government the authority to administer services
described in this Article, provided that the Government of Pohnpei retains
responsibility for policy and proper administration.
Section 8. Skill Development.
The Pohnpei Government
shall have the responsibility to promote the development and evaluation of the
skills of workers, as provided by law.
Section 1. Legislative Power.
The legislative power of
the people of Pohnpei is vested in the Pohnpei Legislature as prescribed by this
Constitution. The legislative power extends to all rightful subjects of
legislation not inconsistent with this Constitution.
Section 2. Apportionment.
Each local jurisdiction
shall constitute an electoral district for the Legislature. The number of
members of the Legislature shall be established by law at the time of
reapportionment. Reapportionment shall take place at least every ten years
and may take place after each official census. Reapportionment shall be on
the basis of local citizenship. Each local government shall be represented
by at least one member.
Section 3. Terms of Office.
Except for members chosen
to fill vacancies the terms of the members shall commence on the second Monday
of January following their election.
Section 4. Qualifications.
No person is eligible to
serve as a member of the Legislature unless he is at least twenty-five years of
age at the time his term of office commences; he has been a citizen of a local
government of Pohnpei for at least twenty-five years at the time his term of
offices commences; and he has been a citizen of the local government that he
represents for at least three years. A person convicted of a felony is
ineligible to serve as a member of the Legislature unless he has received a
pardon restoring his civil rights at least sixty days before he is elected.
The Legislature shall be the sole qualifications of its
Section 5. Conflict of Interest.
No member of the
Legislature may hold another public office in, be employed by, or receive other
compensation or remuneration from government, governmental instrumentality, or
any organization whose income is derived principally from public moneys. A
member of the Legislature may be a member of a constitutional
Section 6. Taking New Office.
During the term for which
he is elected or appointed, no member of the Legislature may be elected or
appointed to any Pohnpei Government or local government office or employment
which has been created or the compensation of which established or increased by
statute at any time during such term. As to the taking of a Pohnpei
government office, this prohibition shall not apply if the increase in
compensation applies to all employees of the branch of government in which the
office is located, and if the increase applies equally or in an equal proportion
to all positions in the branch of government. This prohibition shall not
apply to membership in a constitutional convention, or to taking an office whose
compensation is otherwise increased if the member of the Legislature does not
receive the increase in compensation.
Section 7. Immunities.
Members of the Legislature
shall in all cases, except felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from
arrest during and while going to or returning from sessions or committee
meetings of the Legislature. A member is responsible only to the
Legislature for his statements in the Legislature or a committee
Section 8. Proceedings.
The Legislature shall keep
and publish a journal. All proceedings of the Legislature and its
committees shall be open to the public, unless the Legislature or committee
determines by unanimous vote that the public interest requires the proceedings
to be closed. No vote of the Legislature may be secret by ballot, except
for the election of its officers and confirmation of officials.
Section 9. Investigation.
As incidents of its
authority, the Legislature and its duly authorized committees may conduct
investigations, hold public hearings, subpoena witnesses and documents, and
administer oaths. The rules of the Legislature shall provide for the
enforcement of the contempt power and other incidents of legislative
Section 10. Sessions.
The Legislature shall convene in regular session on the
second Monday of January each year, or as soon thereafter as is practical, for
such period and at such other times as may be provided by law.
A special session of the Legislature may be convened
either by the presiding officer of the Legislature upon a petition of one-third
of its members, without regard to vacancies, or by the Governor. When the
Legislature is convened by the Governor, the Legislature shall only consider the
subjects stated in the convening call.
Section 11. Quorum.
Three-fourths of the
members of the Legislature, without regard to vacancies, shall constitute a
quorum. A smaller number than a quorum may adjourn from day to day, and
may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such
penalties as the Legislature may provide, including suspension of salaries and
Section 12. Bills and Resolutions.
No law may be enacted except by bill. Each bill
shall embrace only one subject, which shall be expressed in its title. A
provision outside the subject expressed in the title is void.
Each section of a law to be amended shall be set forth
in the amending bill and reenacted at full length.
The enacting clause of a bill shall be: "BE IT ENACTED BY THE POHNPEI
To become law, a bill shall pass two readings on
separate days. The first reading may be on the day of introduction.
Passage on second reading shall require the affirmative vote on roll call
of a majority of the members of the Legislature, without regard to
A resolution shall be introduced as a proposal for a
resolution and may be adopted on the day that it is introduced. It shall
be adopted upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the
Legislature, without regard to vacancies.
Section 13. Action on Bills by the
Every bill that has passed the Legislature shall be
certified by the presiding officer and the Clerk and presented to the
The Governor shall have ten days to consider bills
presented to him ten or more days before a recess of at least a week's duration
or before adjournment of the Legislature. For all other bills he has
thirty calendar days after they are presented to him.
If the Governor approves the bill, he shall sign it, and
it becomes law.
If the Governor does not approve the bill, he shall
return it with his objections to the presiding officer of the Legislature.
The Governor may disapprove any specific item or items of appropriation,
in any bill that appropriates money for specific purposes, by striking out or
reducing the item or items, but he may disapprove other bills only in their
Any bill neither signed nor returned by the time
specified shall become law as if the Governor signed it.
Section 14. Action by the Legislature on
After the Legislature has received a message of
disapproval, the bill, item, or items disapproved shall become law on a single
reading upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the
Legislature, without regard to vacancies.
If the Legislature receives a message of disapproval
within the last ten days of a session or after the adjournment of a session, the
Legislature may reconsider the disapproved bill, item, or items, at the next
session without regard to any limitations on the call.
Section 15. Confirmation of
The confirmation of all
appointments by the Governor of offices of the Government of Pohnpei shall
require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Legislature,
without regard to vacancies.
Section 16. Initial Appointment of the
Until reapportionment, the
members of the Legislature shall be apportioned among the local governments as
follows: Kapingamarangi, one; Mwokil, one; Ngetik, one; Nukuoro, one; Pingelap,
one; Kolonia Town, two; Net, two; Uh, two, Kitti, four; Madolenihmw, four;
Sokehs, four. The first reapportionment shall be made within ten years of
the effective date of this constitution and shall apply to subsequent general
Section 1. Governor: Executive Power.
The executive power of the
Governor of Pohnpei is vested in the Governor who shall be elected by the
qualified voters of Pohnpei.
Section 2. Lieutenant Governor.
There shall be a Lieutenant
Governor. The Lieutenant Governor shall perform the duties delegated to
him by the Governor and such other duties as may be prescribed by
Section 3. Qualifications.
No person is eligible to become Governor or Lieutenant
Governor unless he is a citizen of Pohnpei by birth; he is at least thirty-five
years of age; and he has never been convicted of a felony.
No person may serve more than two full consecutive terms
as Governor, except that a person who serves as Governor less than two years
during a term to which another person was first elected, may serve two full
consecutive terms thereafter.
Section 4. Election.
Nominations for the office
of Governor or the office of Lieutenant Governor shall be by petitions signed by
qualified voters as provided by statute. If no candidate receives a
majority of the votes cast for the office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor, a
run-off election shall be held between the two candidates for that office
receiving the highest votes. Tied elections shall be resolved in the
manner prescribed by statute.
Section 5. Terms of Office.
The terms of office of the
Governor and the Lieutenant Governor shall be four years and shall begin at noon
on the second Monday of January following their election, and they shall hold
office until the qualification of their successors.
Section 6. Vacancy and Incapacity.
The Lieutenant Governor shall become Governor when the
office of Governor is vacant.
The Lieutenant Governor shall serve as the Acting
Governor when the Governor is absent from Pohnpei or is incapacitated. The
Legislature shall provide by statute for the determination of
Statute shall provide for the filling of the vacancy
when the office of the Lieutenant Governor is vacant.
Section 7. Faithful Execution of
The Governor is responsible
for the faithful execution of the provisions of this Constitution and of all
laws of Pohnpei.
Section 8. Powers Over Criminal
The Governor may grant
reprieves, commutations and pardons after conviction of offenses other than
impeachment, subject to regulation by statute.
Section 9. Reports.
The Governor shall report
to the Legislature at the beginning of each regular session in January on the
condition of Pohnpei, and he may do so at other times. He may recommend
legislative measures for the consideration of the Legislature.
Section 10. Executive Officers.
Members of all
policy-making boards, the chief officers of all executive departments and
agencies, and such other executive officers as may be provided by law, shall be
appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Legislature by affirmative
vote of the majority of the members, without regard to vacancies. The
chief officers of the executive departments and other agencies shall serve at
the pleasure of the Governor. Such officers may be removed by the Governor
or be impeached in accordance with Article 13, Section 6, of this
Section 11. Executive Reorganization.
The executive branch, or
any part thereof, may be organized by statute or by executive reorganization
plan. Executive reorganization plans shall be presented by the Governor to
the Legislature. The Legislature may reject an executive reorganization
plan or any portion of it by resolution within thirty session days after its
presentation. If the Legislature is not in session at the time of
presentation, the Governor shall call a special session to consider the
Section 1. Judicial Power.
The judicial power of
Pohnpei is vested in the Pohnpei Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as
may be established by law.
Section 2. Inferior Courts and Adjudicatory
Inferior courts and
adjudicatory bodies may be established by statute. They shall have such
original jurisdiction, concurrent with the Pohnpei Supreme Court, as may be
established by statute. All judges and members of adjudicatory bodies
shall be nominated by the Governor with approval by affirmative vote of a
majority of the members of the Legislature, without regard to
Section 3. Pohnpei Supreme Court:
The Pohnpei Supreme Court shall consist of a Chief
Justice and not more than four associate justices who shall be nominated by the
Governor with the approval by affirmative vote of a majority of the members of
the Legislature, without regard to vacancies.
The Legislature shall provide by statute for the service
of temporary justices. Their nominations shall also be subject to the
approval of the Legislature in the same manner as the other
Section 4. Pohnpei Supreme Court:
The Pohnpei Supreme Court is a court of record and is
the highest court of Pohnpei.
The trial division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court has
original jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases within the jurisdiction
of Pohnpei and appellate jurisdiction over the decisions of all inferior courts
and adjudicatory bodies.
The appellate division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court has
appellate jurisdiction over all matters in the trial division.
The right to a new trial and to appeal decisions of
inferior courts and adjudicatory bodies to the Pohnpei Supreme Court shall be
No appeal on any matter relating to the Constitution,
Pohnpei law, customs and traditions may be made to any other court, except the
Pohnpei Supreme Court.
Section 5. Pohnpei Supreme Court:
Unless otherwise provided by law, each Pohnpei Supreme
Court justice shall be a member of the trial division and the appellate division
of the Pohnpei Supreme Court. A justice who has heard a case in the trial
division may not participate in the decision of the case in the appellate
A single justice may hear a case in the trial division.
No fewer than three justices shall hear and decide cases in the appellate
division. A single justice may make interlocutory appellate orders,
subject to review by a full appellate panel of justices hearing the
Section 6. Pohnpei Supreme Court:
No person is eligible to
serve as a justice of the Pohnpei Supreme Court unless he is at least
thirty-five years of age. A person convicted of a felony is ineligible to
Section 7. Pohnpei Supreme Court:
A justice of the Pohnpei
Supreme Court shall serve for a term of twelve years provided that he may
continue to serve until a successor who has been nominated is confirmed. A
justice may be reappointed.
Section 8. Compensation.
Compensation of all
justices, judges, and members of the adjudicatory bodies shall be prescribed by
law. Compensation may not be diminished during their terms of office,
except by general law and in the same proportion applying to all officers and
employees of the Government of Pohnpei.
Section 9. Administration.
The Chief Justice is the
administrative head of the judicial system of Pohnpei. The administration of the
Pohnpei judicial system, including personnel, property, finance, and budget
matters, is independent of the legislative and executive branches of the
Government of Pohnpei. The Chief Justice shall be responsible for
preparation of the annual budget of the Judiciary, which shall be submitted to
the Legislature through the Governor. The Governor may submit his comments
on the Judiciary budget, but he may not revise it or reduce it.
Section 10. Rules.
The Pohnpei Supreme Court
shall have the authority to promulgate or to amend its rules of procedure and
rules of conduct of the Judiciary and its employees, and rules governing the
property of the Judiciary. Such rules shall have the effect of law, and
may be amended by statute.
Section 11. Judicial Policy.
The decisions of all courts
and adjudicatory bodies shall be consistent with this Constitution and the
concepts of justice of the people of Pohnpei.
Section 1. Taxation Power.
The Government of Pohnpei
shall have the authority to levy any tax and fee not prohibited under this
Section 2. Local Government Taxes.
Local governments may levy
a surtax on a tax levied by the Government of Pohnpei. The surtax levied
by the local governments shall not exceed twenty percent of the tax set by the
Legislature, unless expressly authorized by statute. The Legislature may
authorize the local governments to impose other taxes under such conditions as
may be prescribed by statute. Local governments have the sole authority to
levy business license fees.
Section 3. Revenue Sharing.
Not less than thirty
percent of all taxes received by the Government of Pohnpei from sources within
Pohnpei shall be appropriated to local governments for development projects and
operations identified in local plans. Local plans shall be adopted by
statute only after extensive public hearings in the respective local
jurisdictions. Such funds shall be apportioned by population on the basis
of local citizenship.
Section 4. Taxation of Government
Property of the Government
of Pohnpei and property of the local governments shall not be
Section 5. Taxation and Appropriation of
No tax may be levied or
money appropriated except for public purposes.
Section 6. Pohnpei Treasury.
The Legislature shall
provide by statute for the organization of the Pohnpei Treasury. The
Pohnpei Treasury shall contain a General Fund and special funds established by
law. All revenues of the Government of Pohnpei shall be deposited into the
General Fund or a special fund, as provided by law.
Section 7. Obligation of Funds.
The obligation for the
payment of money and the withdrawal of money from Pohnpei Treasury may only be
made in accordance with law.
Section 8. Auditor.
There shall be an Auditor appointed by the Governor with
the approval of the Legislature by affirmative vote of the majority of the
members, without regard to vacancies, to serve for a term of four years and
until his successor is appointed and confirmed. Within thirty days before
the end of each four-year term, the Auditor may be removed by affirmative vote
of two-thirds of the members of the Legislature, without regard to
The Auditor shall be responsible for conducting audits
of all financial transactions and of all accounts kept by or for all
departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Government of
Pohnpei and of the local governments. All such accounts shall be audited at
least once every two years. All financial statements issued by Government
accounting officers shall require the certification of their accuracy by the
The Auditor shall annually report his findings and
recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature. The Auditor shall
make such additional reports and provide such additional information as he may
deem appropriate and as the Legislature may require by law.
The Auditor shall require the establishment of
accounting systems that will ensure strict financial
The Auditor may employ his own staff and may contract
for professional accounting services and other services that he may deem
The Auditor shall annually prepare the budget which will
be submitted to the Legislature through the Governor. The Governor may
submit his comments, but he may not revise or reduce it.
Section 9. Fiscal Reports.
Within the time prescribed
by statute, the Governor shall annually submit to the Legislature a report
identifying the revenues and funds anticipated to be available to the Government
of Pohnpei for the forthcoming fiscal year, as well as such other fiscal
information as the Legislature may require by law.
Section 10. Budget Submission.
The Governor shall prepare
a budget for the forthcoming fiscal year for the operations of all Pohnpei
Government agencies, except the Auditor, and the legislative and judicial
branches, and for other purposes. The Governor shall submit the budget to
the Legislature within the time prescribed by statute. The Governor shall
also receive and may comment on the budget of the Auditor, the Legislature, and
the Judiciary, which he shall promptly submit to the Legislature. Budgets shall
be in such form and shall provide such information as may be required by
Section 11. Budget Act.
After receiving the report of anticipated revenues and
other funds, and after receiving the budget of all Pohnpei Government agencies,
and taking into account the requirements for funding capital improvements,
development projects, and assistance to local governments, the Legislature shall
enact a comprehensive operations budget authorization law for the forthcoming
fiscal year. Such law may subsequently be amended.
Except as required by a state of emergency declared by
the Governor in accordance with this Constitution, no appropriation for
operations of any government agency may be made except in accordance with the
comprehensive operations budget authorization law.
Section 12. Control of Expenditures.
Provisions shall be made by
law to control the rate of expenditures, when funds appear insufficient to meet
anticipated expenditures for the fiscal year.
Section 13. Public Credit.
The Government of Pohnpei
may not borrow money on public credit except as authorized by statute for
economic development and the construction and major repair of public facilities.
Every statute authorizing the borrowing of money on the public credit
shall identify the source of adequate funds which shall be dedicated to the
repayment of such obligations.
Section 1. Limitation of Leaseholds.
No lease of land, except
from the Government or as provided in Section 4 of this Article, may exceed
twenty-five years. The right for option to renew and other protections
shall be provided by statute.
Section 2. Acquisition of Permanent Interest
in Real Property.
The acquisition of
permanent interest in real property shall be restricted to Ponapean citizens who
are also pwilidak of Pohnpei, as specified under Article 3 of this
Section 3. Indefinite Land-Use
An agreement that grants
the user of land the unilateral authority to continue use for an indefinite term
Section 4. Land Legislation.
The Legislature may
provide, by appropriate legislation procedures to permit leases and other uses
of land in excess of the limits prescribed in Section 1 of this
Section 5. Land Sales.
No land shall be sold,
except as authorized by statute.
Section 6. Acquisition of Land for Public
The power to take interests
in land may be exercised by the Government of Pohnpei for public purposes.
No taking shall occur until after consultation with the local government
concerned, good faith negotiation with the owners of such interests, which shall
include the offer to exchange the land for land of comparable value, or a
payment of just compensation.
Section 7. Land Offices and Adjudicatory
To the extent that is
practical, all administrative functions relating to land shall be under a single
Section 1. Official Language.
The official languages of
the Pohnpei Government shall be the Pohnpei and English
Section 2. Harmful Substances.
Nuclear, chemical, gas, and biological weapons, nuclear
power plants, and waste materials therefrom, including high-level and low-level
radioactive waste, shall not be introduced, stored, used, tested, or disposed of
within any part of the jurisdiction of Pohnpei, except if such action is
specifically and expressly permitted by a majority of votes cast in a referendum
by the people of Pohnpei.
The Legislature shall provide by statute for the strict
control of harmful substances not listed under Subsection 1 of this Section,
limiting their introduction, storage, use, and disposal within the jurisdiction
of Pohnpei to activities necessary for the enhancement of public health, public
safety, and economic development.
Section 3. Capital of Pohnpei.
The capital of Pohnpei
shall be established by statute. The properties used by the Government of
Pohnpei shall be under the jurisdiction of the Government of
Section 4. Government Property.
Government property may not
be transferred to private use or disposal except pursuant to procedures
established by law.
Section 5. Ethical Conduct.
The Legislature shall enact
a code of ethical conduct for officials and employees of the Government of
Pohnpei and shall prescribe administrative and criminal penalties for violation
of the code.
Section 6. Impeachment.
The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Auditor, members of
the Legislature, justices or judges of any Court, and all appointed officials of
the Government of Pohnpei may be impeached, but only for misconduct in office,
neglect of duty, incapacity, or conviction of an offense of moral
Upon the adoption of a resolution of impeachment by
three-fourths of the members of the Legislature without regard to vacancies, a
notice of impeachment shall forthwith be served upon the official by the
Upon service of the notice of impeachment, the official
shall be suspended from his duties, but with pay, pending
A tribunal composed of three Justices of the Pohnpei
Supreme Court shall be convened by the Chief Justice, or by the Governor in the
event of impeachment of the Chief Justice. The tribunal shall appoint a
special prosecutor with the approval of a majority of the members of the
Legislature, without regard to vacancies. A conviction of impeachment
shall require the vote of two-thirds of the members of the
Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend beyond
removal from office, but a person so convicted may nevertheless be subject to
indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to the
Section 7. Recall.
The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and members of the
Legislature may be removed from office by recall.
To recall the Governor or Lieutenant Governor, a
petition signed by thirty-five percent of the registered voters of Pohnpei must
be submitted to the presiding officer of the Legislature, who shall forthwith
appoint a Special Election Commissioner, to whom the voter registration lists of
Pohnpei shall forthwith be presented. Within fifteen days, the Special
Election Commissioner shall determine the validity of the petition. If the
petition is valid, a recall election shall be held within thirty days of the
determination of validity, on the date specified by the Special Election
Commissioner. The official shall be recalled upon the affirmative vote of
sixty percent of the registered voters of Pohnpei.
To recall a member of the Legislature a petition signed
by thirty-five percent of the registered voters of the electoral district must
be submitted to the Governor, who shall forthwith transmit the petition to the
Election Commissioner. Within fifteen days, the Election Commissioner shall
determine the validity of the petition. If the petition is valid, a recall
election shall be held within thirty days of the determination of validity, on
the date specified by the Election Commissioner. The member of the
Legislature shall be recalled upon the affirmative vote of fifty-one percent of
the registered voters of the electoral precinct he represents.
Section 8. Compensation of Government
The salaries and allowances for the elected and
appointed officers shall be set by law.
The salaries and allowances for all elected and
appointed officers may be reapportioned every five years.
The salaries and allowances for all elected and
appointed officers may be reduced at any time, provided that such a decrease
applies to all such officers in an equal amount.
Section 9. Declaration of
The Governor may declare a state of emergency and issue
appropriate decrees, to preserve the public peace, health, or safety, at a time
of extreme emergency caused by civil disturbance, epidemic, natural disaster, or
immediate threat of war.
A declaration of emergency may impair a civil right only
to the extent actually necessary to preserve peace, health, or safety. A
declaration of emergency may be subject to judicial review.
The Legislature may amend or revoke a declaration of
emergency at any time by resolution. Unless the declaration expires
earlier, the Legislature shall convene within thirty days to consider the
declaration of emergency. Unless the declaration expires earlier, is
revoked, amended, or repealed, a declaration of emergency shall be in effect for
Section 1. Local Governments.
The local governments
comprising the Pohnpei Government on the effective date of this Constitution are
Kapingamarangi, Kitti, Kolonia Town, Madolenihmw, Mwokil, Net, Ngetik, Nukuoro,
Pingelap, Sokehs, and Uh.
Section 2. Constitution of the Local
Each local government may
establish its own constitution. Such constitution shall not be
inconsistent with this Constitution or Pohnpei law, in effect on the effective
date of this Constitution and may provide a functional role for traditional
Section 3. Local Government
The local governments may
exercise all authority not prohibited under this Constitution and Pohnpei
Section 4. Local Government
This Constitution does not change the boundaries of the
No local government may be divided or
Section 5. Areas Outside the Local
Areas within the
jurisdiction of Pohnpei located outside the boundaries of the local governments
shall be administered by the Government of Pohnpei until such time as, by
statute, such areas are incorporated into existing local governments with the
consent of the affected local governments or are established as separate local
governments having the same rights as the other local
Section 1. Proposal for Amendment by
The Legislature may propose
an amendment to this Constitution. Such proposed amendment shall require
approval by affirmative vote of three-fourths of the members of the Legislature,
without regard to vacancies. It shall be transmitted to the Governor for
his consideration in the manner prescribed in this Constitution for
consideration of bills. If the Governor approves the proposed amendment,
it qualifies for ratification. If the Governor disapproves the proposed
amendment, he shall return it to the Legislature in the manner prescribed in
this Constitution for the return of disapproved bills. The Legislature may
reconsider the proposed amendment. If the Legislature again approves the
proposed amendment by affirmative vote of three-fourths of the members, without
regard to vacancies and in the manner prescribed in this Constitution, for
disapproved bills, the proposed amendment qualifies for
Section 2. Proposal for Amendment by
An amendment to this
Constitution may be proposed by presenting to the Governor a petition that sets
forth the text of the proposed amendment and bears the signatures of at least
one-third of the registered voters of Pohnpei. The Governor shall have the
petition examined and, within ninety days after presentation to him, he shall
determine whether the petition has the requisite number of signatures of
registered voters. Upon certification that the petition contains the
requisite number of signatures, the proposed amendment qualifies for
Section 3. Subject of Proposed
A proposed amendment,
whether proposed by the Legislature or by initiative petition, shall include
only one subject.
Section 4. Ratification of Proposed
The proposed amendment shall be submitted for
ratification at an election, whether general or special, held not less than
ninety days nor more than one hundred eighty days after the proposed amendment
A proposed amendment shall take effect only if approved
by not less than two-thirds of the votes cast on the amendment, and at least
fifty percent of the registered voters of Pohnpei at the time of the
Section 5. Adoption of Amendment.
The Legislature shall
provide procedures for the adoption of amendments and implementation of this