Elections for the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) will be held today. Ten of the unicameral body’s
Elections for the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) will be held today. Ten of the unicameral body’s 14 seats are available. All 20 candidates are standing as independents as the nation has no political parties.
The election comes as the FSM faces an increasingly uncertain political future. Along with other Micronesian nations, in February it announced its impending exit from the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the region’s primary inter-governmental organisation, over a leadership squabble. In 2022, Chuuk, the FSM’s most populous island, will hold a thrice delayed independence referendum motivated by frustrations regarding FSM allocation of US funding. And in 2023, parts of the FSM’s Compact of Free Association with the US will expire, raising questions about its future alignment.
The FSM faces further struggles in its battle against the effects of climate change, an issue that was low on the Trump administration agenda. A loss by incumbents, especially on Chuuk, could signal that voters want the government to tackle climate change more aggressively, a harder feat after losing the power of the PIF’s collective voice. It also could portend a drift towards China, which has increased regional investment, as the US compact expires and the FSM looks for new sources of financial support.
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