19 May 2008

CNMI Governor criticised for taking control of Ports Authority

8:43 am on 19 May 2008

The Northern Marianas House of Representatives says Gov. Benigno Fitial was wrong to declare a state of emergency and assume control of the Commonwealth Ports Authority.

The House has unanimously passed a resolution criticizing Fitial for the move, saying the reasons the governor gave for the emergency takeover did not warrant such extreme action.

The Governor says he took the action because the authority was in danger of defaulting on bond repayments to the Bank of Guam.

The authority's board has not been able to act because it hasn't been able to get a quorum for meetings.

The emergency declaration cannot go into effect until lawmakers review, and possibly amend or void the action.

The Legislature has 60 days to act on the governor's declaration.