CNMI's New Leaders Sworn In

Governor Inos and Lt. Governor Hofschneider at
the inauguration ceremony. Photo from Facebook
February 20, 2013

The new CNMI Governor, Eloy Inos and the new Lieutenant Governor, Jude Hofschneider, were sworn into office just hours after former Governor Benigno Fitial resigned at 10:00am yesterday.  The ceremony took place at 2:00pm at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center.

Governor Inos is the CNMI's first governor to hail from Rota, while Lt. Governor Hofschneider will serve as the CNMI's first lt. governor from Tinian.

Governor Benigno Fitial has been caught in a web of scandals since taking office. Every one of the 18 articles of impeachment were adopted last week and he faced a trial in the Senate on March 7, 2013. He submitted his resignation letter a day after he was served the summons for the Senate trial.

The Saipan Tribune quoted Governor Inos:
“He came to my office. In a very humble manner, he presented me a letter. And I asked him, what was that for? What's the letter about. I looked at it and the first time I saw it, I almost fell off my chair,” said Inos. 
Inos and Fitial have decades of friendship. That relationship had been strained in recent years over personal and political issues. Inos is currently the titular head of the Covenant Party, which Fitial formed for his first gubernatorial bid. Fitial rejoined the Republican Party and is again its president.
Governor Inos, like former Governor Fitial, was employed by Willy Tan. Inos also served as a former CNMI Secretary of Finance.

There has been no word if Fitial resigned as the head of the Republican Party, but I assume he will because it was reported that he will be leaving to the states.

Now that there is no need for a Senate trial the new administration and CNMI Legislature and can focus on cleaning up the mess that Fitial left behind. The nine seat Senate is now minus two senators with Hofschneider stepping up as lt. governor and Rota Senator Juan Ayuyu in prison facing federal charges.

Governor Inos spoke to the press about some plans after the short inauguration ceremony, which lasted less than 30 minutes. He said he will be considering all of the emergency declarations, will be reviewing cabinet positions and will be looking at agencies' projects and performance. He also said that he was open to the extradition of former fugitive AG Edward Buckingham, and would be looking into that.

Read more coverage of this story at The Marianas Variety, The Saipan Tribune and The Pacific Daily News. See also the Photo Gallery of the Inauguration.


Anonymous said...

who is the senator from Tinian who will replace Hofschneider? i know Joey Quituqua would replace Ayuyu. anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Governor Inos can look into his own daughter's appointment to head up the Renewable Energy Task Force and other relatives who he handed out lucrative jobs to. OOPS!

Green Cards for All! said...

The prospective replacement senator would be Joaquin Hoashi Borja.

Section 9: Vacancy. A vacancy in the legislature shall be filled by special election if one- half or more of the term remains. If less than one-half of the term remains, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointing the unsuccessful candidate for the office in the last election who received the largest number of votes and is willing to serve or, if no candidate is available, a person qualified for the office from the district represented.

N.M.I. Const. art. II, § 9 (emphasis added).

Lieutenant Governor Hofschneider was one of two senators from Tinian elected to a five-year term in the CNMI Senate on Tuesday, 3 November 2009.

The 2009 Second Senatorial District results are about 1/4 down the page.

Votes Candidate

698 Francisco Quichuchu Cruz (Republican)
637 Jude Untalan Hofschneider (Republican)
564 Joaquin Hoashi Borja (Covenant)
549 Joseph Masga Mendiola (Covenant)

So Joaquin Borja just edged out Joseph Mendiola by fifteen votes. But he obviously wants the job, because less than three months ago he was also one of two candidates on Tuesday, 6 November 2012, this time as a Fitialite Republican, receiving fewer votes.

Votes Candidate
702 Francisco Manglona Borja (Independent)
450 Joaquin Hoashi Borja (Republican)

You are right, Joey Anthony Quitugua is next in line on Rota.

Anonymous said...

I know Jude personally. He is only out for himself. He could be problematic, I hope that Inos can steer a straight course, but doubt it.
But with the people up in arms it definitely should be a much better run than what we have had for 7 years.
The next few weeks will give us an indication of just what direction Inos will go.
Lets see if he will srt to clean house.
There are estimated to be over 5k Govt employees.
I would bet that there are at least 2k of fitial hacks and mafia employed in every corner of the govt. Most in do nothing jobs costing the NMI much money.
If Inos can get rid of those people and all of the felons (especially the ones in DPS) then maybe the CNMI can start getting back on track and the full working hours may stay in effect along with increased productivity.
I expect there will be much disagreement and hostility as some very difficult decision need to be made. Inos is supposed to be very good in the financial area. Lets see. I hope the CNMI can turn over a new leaf.It will not be an immediate thing but a start in the right direction IF these elected can get their act together in support.
People need to keep the pressure on all of them.

Anonymous said...

jack borja?

Anonymous said...

People of CNMI get relieved from the corruption acts of FITIAL finally. Overal improvemenets of CNMI depend on Governor Inos now. Actions are in progress. People are closely monitoring the government activities. Changes need to be made in CUC, CHC, NMC, Retirement funds, DPS, DOC, CCA-NAP,DOF, DPW and MVA etc. New governor also needs to address how CNMI can have a strong workforce to keep tourism industry grow. Consider everyone in CNMI to be added in new US immigration reform bill. Mr. Kilili is the right person for this to introduce a special provision to US congress and senate. God bless CNMI and USA!