Today, Jan. 10, 2015, was the last day for Shelly to either sign, veto or take no action on Council legislation to nullify the 2014 Navajo Nation Primary Election for the presidential race and hold a June 2015 Primary Election and August 2015 General Election for the presidency and to pardon the Navajo Board of Election Supervisors.
According to copies of the signed legislation, Shelly provided no explanation for his decision to sign CD-80-14 “Relating to an Emergency; to address a matter of Navajo voter disenfranchisement; and providing for a Special Run-Off Election and a Special General Election for the President” and CD-81-14 “Relating to Naabik’iyati and Navajo Nation Council; Pardoning Navajo Board of Election Supervisors from any violations of law in the performance of their work in presiding over the 2014 Election including indirect civil contempt findings and reinstating the named individuals to their offices as Navajo Board of Election Supervisors.”
The agreement between Shelly and the Council was revealed today, Jan. 10, 2015, just minutes before the Navajo Nation Supreme Court convened a special hearing to hear a petition from Shelly that would recognize that Navajo law supported his claim that he should remain in office until a new president is elected and inaugurated and not the Council’s claim that Shelly’s term ended at noon on Jan. 13, 2015, which is when the new Council would be inaugurated. The Council’s claim also involved their citation of Navajo law that allowed them to appoint an interim president from among their ranks.
Navajo Nation Council Speaker Pro Tem LoRenzo Bates, Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie and Delegates-Elect Otto Tso and Amber K, Crotty signed the deal for the Council, which was stuck with Shelly on Jan. 9, 2015.
Tsosie was the sponsor of CD-80-14 and CD-81-14.
In its decision today to approve a petition from Shelly and the Council to withdraw Shelly’s initial petition to recognize that Navajo law allowed him to remain as president until a new president was inaugurated because an agreement had been made between Shelly and the Council that gave Shelly wanted to wanted, the Supreme Court noted, “The Court takes no position that this agreement complies with the law. This proceeding is not (to) be interpreted in any way to mean that the Court approves of the factual assertions and legal conclusions of the agreement nor the agreement itself. Further, the agreement has no legal effect on the orders previously issued by this Court.”
The Supreme Court’s most recent order was the granting of a request by the Navajo Election Office for a second 60-day deadline to hold the special presidential election between former Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. and Navajo Nation Council Delegate Russell Begaye. The first 60-day extension ended on Dec. 23, 2014. The Supreme Court order the election office to hold the special presidential election before the end of January 2015.