Navajo Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay becomes Speaker Pro Tem with toss of a coin

The 23rd Navajo Nation Council is holding its first special session. After invocation and introductions, the Council took up its first legislation, which is to elect a speaker pro tem.

The Council nominated Delegates LoRenzo Bates and Kee Allen Begay for the Speaker Pro Tem position, which is for about two weeks or until the Council’s Winter Session, which is when the Council elects a Speaker for a two year term.

SPEAKER PRO TEM MEL BEGAY asks legislative attorney for legal advice on what the Council should do when there is a tie vote over the election of a speaker pro tem.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL RON says that there is no Council rule but that there is the election rule of tossing a coin.

DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE says We’re not making a legal decision. The people want us to make a decision. Delegate Kee Allen Begay please step aside.

DELEGATE KEE ALLEN BEGAY says he’ll step back if the 12 delegates who voted for him ask him to do so. But it’s not fair that he is only being asked to step aside by Delegate Leonard Tsosie.

And so Navajo Election Supervisor Bertha Aguirre tosses the coin. Bates selects heads and Begay selects tails. Tails wins. Delegate Kee Allen Begay is the new Speaker Pro Tem.

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