4 Jul 2011

Saipan/Rota divided on reunification with Guam

6:57 am on 4 July 2011

A survey in the Northern Marianas on reunification with Guam has found that while on Saipan a majority of people said "NO", on Rota the idea was welcomed.

Of the 900 people surveyed on Saipan more than 410 said "NO" while 275 ticked a yes.

On Rota, 81 welcomed the idea while 60 disagreed.

The study by the Northern Marianas college was unable to reach Tinian due to logistic issues.

The leader of the study, Sam McPhetres, says most of the people who voted "yes" cited economic issues.

He says the results will now go to Representative, Joesph Palacious, who initiated the idea.

"And we've given him all the information and the breakdown of the surveys which they can use if they so choose , this is non-binding and is for information purposes only, if they still choose they could use that formulate the wording on legislation and to have a plebiscite or referendum in the CNMI on the issue of reunification."

A previous survey more than 40 years ago found the CNMI population was for re-unifying - but Guam rejected it.

A similar survey is to be conducted by the university of Guam.