Navajo President vetoes bill, Navajo Nation election still in doubt

The Navajo Times reports, Shelly Vetoes Bill, Deschene Suspends Campaign:

DescheneNavajo Nation President Ben Shelly vetoed the bill that could have aided embattled and disqualified Navajo presidential candidate Chris Deschene.

Shelly vetoed the legislation that aligned the fluency requirement with Navajo fundamental law, according to a statement released from his office.

Sponsor of the resolution, Navajo Nation Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie said that he’s already begun working on another legislation to override the veto.

Chris Deschene has paused his campaign activity barring legislative veto override or other extraordinary changes in current circumstances.

“It is with tremendous pride in our campaign and disappointment with the President’s veto, that the future of my candidacy is uncertain,” Deschene said in a statement. “Regardless of the outcome, words can not express the pride and gratitude I have in my family, friends, staff and supporters who stood by me throughout this process.”

The bill that President Shelly vetoed was passed by the Council on a 11-10 vote, with one abstention. I do not see how an override of his veto is possible.

Navajo Nation Attorney General Harrison Tsosi’s legal Memorandum is due on Friday, and the Navajo Supreme Court will hear the Motion for Contempt of Court on Friday as well. It would seem that the die is cast with the Supreme Court ruling and now President Shelly’s veto.

The Navajo Supreme Court must take into consideration the effect that suspending the Navajo Nation election will have on voter turnout in Arizona’s general election. There are other races on the Navajo Nation ballot not in dispute, and reportedly some 8,000 or more early ballots have already been cast. It would be extraordinarily unfair to other candidates on the ballot to order a “do over” election.

I stand by my suggestion to allow the election to proceed as scheduled on Tuesday, November 4, and simply void the results in the disputed presidential election, and to schedule a special election.

2 responses to “Navajo President vetoes bill, Navajo Nation election still in doubt

  1. today Chief justice Herb Yazzie rules on elections case today. holds board of elections supervisors in contempt and REMOVES them from office. Deschene off ballot. election moves forward but no presidential votes to be caounted. voice of the people is not heard.

  2. I’ve read many of the comments on Chris’ FB page. Young people and those who have already voted are furious that their vote won’t count. Others say, “Come back in 4 yrs, Chris. You’ll have learned the language by then.”
    I’m afraid, that if Chris is not allowed on the ballot, he’ll have something else to do in 4 years, and I wouldn’t blame him. Too bad for the NN. They dismissed one of their own.