FSM president likely to lose seat

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Federated States of Micronesia President Peter Christian, whose administration was rocked by a bribery scandal involving his family, is likely to lose the presidential seat to Congressman David W. Panuelo.

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The FSM National Elections on Monday certified the results of the March 5 elections, which showed Christian’s receiving 6,716 votes against Panuelo’s 6,775 votes.

Christian’s election defeat came on the heels of the FBI’s investigation into the bribery case involving Hawaiian businessman Frank James Lyon, in which the FSM president’s son-in-law Master Halbert was implicated and charged with money-laundering.

The Hawaiian Free Press last week reported that Christian’s son Christopher Ivan Christian was also offered a “retainer fee” of $5,000.

The case involved the U.S.-funded FSM engineering contracts worth $7.8 million, which were awarded under-the-table to Lyon.

Christian, however, will remain president until Congress official selects the president and vice president.

Christian was the 8th president of FSM. He was elected in 2015 succeeding Manny Mori.
Under the FSM Constitution, the president and vice president, who each serves a four-year term, are first elected to the FSM Congress to the at-large seats, or four-year term.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.