23 Jul 2008

1600 signatures back transparency petition in CNMI

10:23 am on 23 July 2008

About 1,600 additional signatures have been submitted to the CNMI's Attorney General's Office in support of a petition for a more transparent Legislature.

Proponents of the petition need at least 512 valid signatures, in addition to the 1,900 previously submitted and verified, to get the initiative on the ballot in the November election.

The initiative proposes to amend the law to apply the Open Government Act to the Legislature.

Representative Tina Sablan, the main proponent of the petition says hopefully, the 1,600 will be a good enough margin of error for at least 512 signatures to be valid.

However, even if there are enough signatures proponents of the proposal still face an unresolved legal question of whether or not the initiative can be placed on the ballot this year.

The constitution requires that initiatives to amend the Constitution or a general law be placed on the ballot at a regular general election, but the Attorney General's Office issued an opinion that definition only includes elections held in odd-numbered years on the first Saturday of November.