17 Aug 2012

Secret energy deal rocks CNMI governor's position

7:52 am on 17 August 2012

Revelations of a secret energy deal between leaders in the Northern Marianas and a US company are adding to pressure on lawmakers to impeach the Governor, Benigno Fitial.

It was widely thought that efforts to oust the Governor would fail because the 20-member House didn't have the numbers to challenge him over his apparent protection of the Attorney General who resigned on Monday facing criminal charges.

Our correspondent Mark Rabago says there is anger over the secrecy surrounding the diesel energy deal especially as global trends favour future green energy sources.

He says the Governor is off-island for the next three weeks and lawmakers may be now questioning their loyalty to him as they prepare for elections in November.

"The latest bombshell right now is the Governor and former AG Buckingham signing off on a potentially a US 250 million dollar energy contract to a new company that's based in Delaware for twenty five years, which would cost CNMI some US 7.6 million dollars a year for twenty five years."

Mark Rabago says 14 of the 20 House members will need to support the impeachment legislation for it to proceed.