15 Aug 2008

CNMI Governor renews Ports Authority state of emergency

10:42 am on 15 August 2008

The Northern Marianas Governor, Benigno Fitial has extended for a third striaght month a state of emergency declaration which would keep the Commonwealth Ports Authority under his control.

In an executive order, the governor says he has to extend the state of emergency for another 30 days in the absence of the board that will govern the autonomous agency.

The emergency declaration automatically dissolved the Port Authority's board whose members subsequently resigned.

Governor Fitial has nominated five new board members, two of whom have been confirmed by the Senate..

Governor Fitial first invoked his emergency powers in May amid fears that the Authority's $20 million airport bond indenture might be declared in technical default by the bond trustee.

He said this would further undermine the CNMI's economic status among potential investors and financial institutions.