Regional News

Yap state inaugurates new administration and legislature

ABAY, Yap (Yap State Government) — The 2015 Yap state joint inaugural ceremony for Gov. Tony Ganngiyan, Lt. Gov. James Yangetmai and members of the 9th Legislature was held at the Yap Sports Complex a little after 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015.

Despite the bad weather, the sports complex was filled with people — especially families, friends and relatives who came to show support and witness this historical event.

Yap Gov. Tony Ganngiyan, right, and Lt. Gov. James Yangetmai.  Contributed photo

The invited guests and dignitaries who arrived from off-island were also present at the ceremony.

The ceremony began with the procession of guests and dignitaries to their seating following the introduction of each by the master of ceremony, Larry Raigetal. Afterward, the old and new executive heads and the legislative members took their seats upfront and upstage.

Father Kelly Yalmathaw gave the invocation before honored guards from the Division of Public Safety presented the colors with the Micronesian National Anthem sung by Tim Ruda afterward.

Former Gov. Vincent Figir made the opening remarks on behalf of the Councils of Chiefs and welcomed all the honored guests to the beautiful State of Yap, and wished that they find their visit a productive and an enjoyable one.

After Figir’s brief statement, Yap State Court Chief Justice Cyprian Manmaw administered the ceremonial oath of office to all the elected leaders beginning with the members of the 9th Legislature of the State of Yap, and concluded with Lt. Governor Yangetmai and Governor Ganngiyan.

In his statement, Speaker Theodore “Ted” Rutun announced the new officers, chairmen and members of the three standing committees of the Legislature. He began by welcoming the many visiting dignitaries and the audience, and added his remarks on the new Legislature. He made references for the new administration to be more open, upfront and transparent with better inter-government cooperation, state unity, and to make the most with what’s given.

The 9th Legislature met initially to organize at 12 noon on Monday, and the outcome of that meeting is as follows:


• Ted Rutun – Speaker

• Joseph Giliko – Vice Speaker

• Jerry Fagolimu – Floor Leader

Committee on Finance

• Clement Mulalap – Chairman

• Stan Kensof – Vice Chairman

• Joseph Tiucheimal – Member

Committee on Government, Health & Welfare

• John Mooteb – Chairman

• Lazarus Ulith – Vice Chairman

• Joseph Giliko – Member

Committee on Resources, Education & Development

• John Masiwemai – Chairman

• Nicholas Figirlaarwon – Vice Chairman

• Jerry Fagolimul – Member

After Speaker Rutun gave his remarks, Governor Ganngiyan delivered his inaugural address. Following his salutations, he began his speech, highlighting the state’s self-sufficient and independent past, the current situation, and goals for the future. Stating that he and Yangetmai were honored to be given the opportunity to lead the state, they were nonetheless “acutely humbled by the awesomeness of its responsibility...”

He concluded his speech by beseeching the state leadership to “unify above politics” and to work toward “real self-dependence.” “The challenges in our path are big and many. But they have to be overcome. Failure will be mortal to the well-being of our future and the future of our children and generations to come.” He emphasized for the state to work for the common good of all.

After the inaugural ceremony at the sports complex, a traditional dance was performed in honor of all the guests at the Yap Living History Museum at 5 p.m. and followed by the inaugural ball at the Pacific Dive Resort at 6 p.m.

Prior to the guests’ departure from Yap on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, the Council of Pilung and the Yap Congressional Delegation Office hosted a special picnic in their honor at the Village View Resort up in Maap Municipality.