05 April 2016

Governor of Guam's Plan for November Referendum Challenged

Fallout from Gov. Eddie Calvo's pronouncement last week that a vote on the island's political status could be held as soon as November continued yesterday during a meeting held of the Commission on Decolonization.
The commission recessed the meeting after two hours and will resume today at 3 p.m. in the governor's large conference room at Adelup.
During yesterday's meeting, Calvo held his ground as he responded to critics who took him to task for what was described as a "unilateral" announcement during his State of the Island address last Thursday. Calvo announced in the address that he intended to initiate the process to schedule a vote regarding Guam's political status as soon as the island's 2016 general election on Nov. 8.
"After years of talking and planning the plan and planning the plan for the plan, I'm finally putting as governor – for the first time, a plan. You may like it or you may not like it, but it is a plan," he said.
Speaker Judith Won Pat and Sen. Rory Respicio, both commission members, reminded Calvo that he was the leader of the commission. Respicio wanted Calvo to commit to ensuring that further action outside of commission decisions would not take place.
"As vice chair of this commission, I want to make sure that your efforts as an individual doesn't conflict with your responsibilities as chairman," Respicio said. He lauded Calvo's efforts to set a timeline and prioritize the self-determination vote. However, Respicio said that going forward, the commission needed to make the decisions. "I want to ask you, if it's possible that you hold off on trying to do a plebiscite before that itself is defined," Respicio said.