It looks like there is little chance for a special election to take place to recall jailed Yona Mayor Jesse Blas.
Efforts to gather enough signatures to conduct a recall election have stalled. And although Vice Speaker Telena Nelson has introduced a bill to authorize and fund a recall election, Mayors Council of Guam Executive Director Angel Sablan says conflicting current laws make it virtually impossible for it to happen this year.
On the one hand, Sablan says current election law forbids any special election to be held within 240 days before a general election. That means no recall election can be held after March 8.
On the other hand, a recall election can only be held after the Guam Election Commission declares a vacancy. But Sablan says at least 60 days must pass before the special election can be held and that means the election commission must declare a vacancy before Jan. 8.
“The clock is not on our side. I believe a special election is unlikely. The only other thing that can happen is that Senator Moylan has introduced legislation that in these kinds of cases, the governor has the authority to appoint an acting mayor,” Sablan said.
There is another alternative. Mayor Blas could resign. And Speaker Tina Muna Barnes is the latest politician to call on him to step down. The Mayors Council has already urged Blas to resign, but he has not responded.
Sablan says that all of the mayor’s leave expires on Jan. 9 after which he will have no further income.
Blas has been unable to carry out his duties as mayor since his arrest on Sept. 18 because he’s in jail.
He’s facing federal extortion and bribery charges over allegations that he rented cluster mailboxes under his control to an FBI informant posing as a drug dealer.