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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


CNMI Governor Appoints New Mayor For Saipan
Tudela, who finished second in elections, takes over after Flores’ death

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, June 4, 2014) – Governor Eloy S. Inos yesterday appointed Marian Deleon Guerrero Tudela as the new mayor of Saipan who will serve until Jan. 2015.

In the 2009 elections, Tudela finished second to Donald G. Flores who passed away on Monday after suffering a massive stroke on Saturday morning.

But because Tudela is still on the mainland U.S., Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council Chairman Ramon B. Camacho will remain acting mayor.

The Saipan mayor’s office remains open for business, according to Henry Hofschneider, Flores’s adviser.

His widow Celia visited the mayor’s office to get her late husband’s personal belongings and express her gratitude to his staff.

Yesterday, the CNMI flag flew at half-mast at Armed Forces Memorial Park in Oleai. It was Flores who beautified the area through a partnership with P&A Corporation headed by its president Hong Kyun Kim.

P&A manager Joo Ho Joon said they will continue to assist the mayor’s office ni the development of programs on island.

Former Gov. Juan Nekai Babauta, in an interview, extended his condolences to the family of the late mayor.

Babauta, who is a former senator and former Washington representative, said his heart goes out to Flores’s children and wife, Celia.

He said Mayor Flores will be remembered for the hard work he had done for the people of Saipan and the commonwealth.

Babauta said he often saw the mayor working with his staff to clean and beautify the main thoroughfares of the island.

"It is a sight that remains in my mind," the former governor said, adding that the mayor also helped reinforce the island’s strong ties with its sister-cities in Japan.

Water delivery

Acting Mayor Camacho said he has been getting requests for water delivery from community members, especially residents in As Matuis.

Yesterday, he said he asked the fire chief in San Roque if they could transfer a fire truck to the mayor’s office to serve the needs of the community.

A former police major, Camacho said the fire truck needs minor repair.

"So I am asking the Legislature for funding so we can repair the vehicle and serve the people," he said.

In cases of emergency, he said he has already asked the fire division to assist the mayor’s office in the delivery of water.

Meantime, Camacho is asking for the patience of the community "because we are working hard to assist them, especially those requesting water."

Unexpired term

In a statement yesterday afternoon, Press Secretary Angel Demapan said Governor Inos spoke with Marian DLG. Tudela on the phone, and that she had accepted the opportunity to serve out the unexpired term of the mayor of Saipan.

Tudela is expected to arrive on Saipan this Sunday. Her term as mayor will begin once she takes the oath of office.

Demapan said according to the Attorney General’s Office, 1 CMC 5103(a) provides that "[i]f a vacancy should arise in any office of the mayor, and less than half of the term of the mayor remains, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointing the unsuccessful candidate for that mayor’s office from the previous election, who received the largest number of votes and is now still willing to serve as mayor of that island or islands."

Governor Inos wanted to hold "a proper state tribute for our beloved mayor of Saipan," but Demapan said last night that the Flores family preferred a traditional funeral service.

Marianas Variety
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