Council opposes addition of legislation to remove Navajo language requirementfo

council debating the addition of proposed legislation 0218-14, which is the removal of navajo language requirement for presidential candidates and optional navajo language requirment for all elected officials, including the council.

delegate leonard tsosie says that the navajo board of election supervisors has decided to ignore navajo law and move forward with the nov. 4 general election, which means that voting ballots are being printed before decisions are made about the qualification of presidential candidate chris deschene. the council should make a decision instead of walking around with their hands in their pockets. the council has an opportunity to help the people by adding 0218-14.

delegate jon nez says that the legislative process calls for legislation to go through a five day public comment period and 0218-14 is in that process. the navajo people have a right to make public comment. 0218-14 is a very important item. i ask my colleagues to support speaker pro temp’s decision that 0218-14 cannot be added to the council’s agenda because 0218-14 has not gone thru the legislative process.

delegate lorenzo curley says that he talked with legislative counsel who advised him about emergency legislation. 0218-14 meets the requirements of an emergency legislation and it would not block public comment from the people. democracy involves input from the people via their council delegate so to say that the council would be blocking public comment is untrue. you are elected by the people and they can give their comments to you.

almost 10,000 voters would be disenfranchised if Deschene is disqualified. i understand that he’ll be taking a test tomorrow and i just cannot believe that a dmocracy where we say that everybody is qualified to run for office that we have test to qualify you. that is unheard of in any democracy. but we have that on the navajo reservation.

so if we allow 0218-14 to run its course and address after friday when deschene cud be disqualifed, it doesn’t make sense. so council needs to address 0218-14 today. it is part of separation of powers and we are not endangering any laws, delegate tsinigine.

Council voting. Red is supporting speaker pro temp and green is supporting the challenge by delegates leonard tsosie and lorenzo curley.
Council vote is 2 in favor, 11 opposed so the challenge by Tsosie and Curley fails. it is 12:19 pm

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