Bikinians Meet to Discuss Proposed KBE Constitution
The people of Bikini met in a public forum held at the Marshall Islands Resort on Wednesday, October 12, at 2 PM to discuss the referendum of their new Constitution that will be part of the November 2011 RMI election. About 50 people were in attendance including Mayor Alson Kelen, Senator Tomaki Juda, former Mayor Eldon Note, Mayoral candidates Hinton Johnson and Luman Benjamin, Bikini Consultant Johnny Johnson and many other Bikinians.
Mayor Kelen read through the entire proposed Constitution and then held a question and answer forum afterwards that went on for over an hour. Most of the questions surrounded one of the new amendments that provides for the Council choosing a new Mayor in the event that the seat is vacated during his or her term of office. The reason for this is that the national government no longer has the funds to provide for special elections should a Mayor vacate his or her office. In the proposed Constitution all of the people of Bikini will continue to vote for Mayor in the general elections just as it has been done in the past.
The ratification of the proposed Constitution is also important because the previous KBE Constitution referred to the head of the local government as “Governor” and there were also several conflicting provisions in the previous Constitution that led to confusion in the RMI Court system. If the Constitution gets ratified by a simple majority of the people of Bikini it will be come law once the election is certified.
Below are Specimen ballots for the upcoming November 2011 election. You will notice at the bottom of the ballots there is the following language regarding our Constitutional referendum:
Ilo S. Ct. Appeal No. 2010-001, Supreme Court eo an Marshall Islands ear ebebe im drepdrep wot im jab kommane jemlok eo an ilo an kotlok bwe armij in Bikini (“K/B/E”) ren kelet Jemen E eo aer ekaal ilo juon referendum eo enaj komman ilo November 2011. Jemen E eo im armij in Bikini rar mour iumin ejanin kar weppen jen kajojo armij in Bikini im ear bareinwot wor jet idaaptok ko ilowan.
( ) Aet, elane kwoj erra ilo Jemen E in.
( ) Jab, elane kwojjab erra ilo Jemen E in.
In S. Ct. Appeal No. 2010-001, the Marshall Islands Supreme Court held the appeal in abeyance to allow the people of Bikini (“K/B/E”) to approve of a new Constitution at a referendum to be held in November 2011. The Constitution under which the people of Bikini were operating had never been approved by the people of Bikini and had several conflicting provisions.
( ) Yes, indicates a voter’s approval of the proposed Constitution.
( ) No, indicates a voter’s disapproval of the proposed Constitution.
Copies of the KBE Constitutions in both English and Marshallese and the Ejit and Kili election ballots can be picked up at the Bikini Atoll Town Hall, or they can be downloaded at this link or downloaded in PDF from the links below:
If there are any questions please email Jack Niedenthal at firstname.lastname@example.org