GEC: There has to be a vacancy before recall election

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Guam Election Commission Executive Director Maria Pangelinan says there are only two ways to authorize a recall. Either enough residents have to sign a petition calling for it or the law must be changed to authorize it.

Vice Speaker Telena Nelson says it’s still possible to conduct a recall election for the mayor of Yona if the law is changed.

Mayors Council Executive Director Angel Sablan this week said scheduling a recall election this year will be very difficult given the tight timelines set in the current election laws.

However, Nelson says her Bill 259 would authorize and fund a recall this year if it is passed without delay.

Guam Election Commission Executive Director Maria Pangelinan says there are only two ways to authorize a recall.

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Either enough residents have to sign a petition calling for it or the law must be changed to authorize it.

Even though Blas has been in jail since September and unable to perform any of his duties, Pangelinan says the GEC can not declare his position vacant.

“The official word from the Guam Election Commission is there has to be a vacancy. And the vacancy only occurs with a resignation. Or death, or sickness, but not jail,” Pangelinan said.

Pangelinan also pointed out that two elections would be necessary.

The first asking Yona residents whether Blas should be re-called. The second to elect a new mayor.

She acknowledged that the timeline is still tight for both of those to happen before the November general election.

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