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Navajo Council Apparently Listening…..Good News for Deschene Supporters!

Navajo Council Apparently Listening…..Good News for Deschene Supporters!
March 15
14:03 2015
Chris Deschene mpr 10 16 14 SMALL

Chris Deschene

By Mike Reilley

Once again it’s all on the shoulders of Navajo President Ben Shelly. The Navajo Nation Council on Friday approved legislation that would allow the voters of the Navajo Nation to determine whether or not their president needs to be fluent in their native tongue.

The legislation was created by the council in special session on a day when they were together in Window Rock to approve, or not, the 318-thousand dollars needed to conduct a presidential election featuring candidates Joe Shirley Jr. and Russell Begaye.

The amendment that allows for the referendum on fluency was put together by delegate Leonard Tsosie, who reportedly felt it was the best way to put the fluency issue to rest and to best please Navajo voters who have been upset with the whole presidential election process.

But if the current president chooses not to sign the legislation, then the issues that have been on the front burner throughout the Navajo Nation, will likely continue to boil.

Interestingly, President Shelly was quoted on Friday as saying, “Let the people vote.”

Lake Powell Communications spoke to Chris Deschene Friday afternoon, and as one might guess, he was pleased with Council’s actions.

“Leonard Tsosie’s amendment speaks to the people’s right to choose their leadership,” said Deschene.

He said all along that it was a matter of allowing the people to choose.

“Well, here’s there chance,” added Deschene. “And it’s going to be up to Ben Shelly….again; to see if he will support the people’s will.”

The Lechee native said it’s a matter of what side of history President Shelly chooses to be on. Earlier this year Shelly chose not to sign legislation that would have put Deschene back in the presidential picture.

There’s no schedule yet on when the referendum will be conducted. But once it is in the past, then election officials will conduct the presidential election.

If the people say a president should speak Navajo fluently, then the election will pit Shirley against Begaye. But if the voters say to be president one doesn’t have to speak the language fluently, Chris Deschene will be back in the running for president.

Mr. Deschene says he does speak Navajo very well. It has never been proven that he does not.

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