31 Jan 2009

CNMI Governor's office distances itself from Guantanamo proposal

5:18 am on 31 January 2009

The office of the Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas says there's been little public support for a local proposal to establish an alternative to the US-run Guantanamo bay detainee facility.

A member of the CNMI House of Representatives, Ray Yumul, is proposing the US government build a similar facility in the CNMI, after new US President Barack Obama ordered the closure of the Guantanamo facility within a year.

Mr Yumul says it's a good opportunity to bring in resources and income for the CNMI's weakening economy.

But Governor Benigno Fitial's press secretary, Charles Reyes, says there is a feeling that such a facility could pose a security risk and would be detrimental to the all-important tourism industry.

"It's not exactly a very popular idea and I'm not even sure it's feasible so I don't think it's fair at all to say the CNMI government has endorsed the proposal at all. It's just an idea from one single member of the House of Representatives here and that's really all it is at this point. I don't see it developing into anything more."

Charles Reyes.