Former House Speaker Lifoifoi, 83

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NMI Refaluwasch leader and former Speaker Jose R. Lifoifoi Sr. passed away on Monday afternoon at the Commonwealth Health Center. He was 83.

Former Gov. Benigno R. Fitial said Lifoifoi was “a great asset to the leadership of the Third and Fifth Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislatures in which most of the substantive public laws were enacted.”

Jose R. Lifoifoi Sr.

Lifoifoi was the speaker of the Fifth Legislature, and a member of the leadership in the Third Legislature.

He and Fitial were among the Carolinian/Refaluwasch leaders in the Territorial Party — now known as the Republican Party — who urged NMI voters to reject the Covenant in a plebiscite held in July 1975.

Former Speaker Oscar M. Babauta said Lifoifoi, who also served as board chairman of the Commonwealth Ports Authority, helped bring the people of Micronesia together.

Babauta also remembered Lifoifoi as chairman of the United Micronesia Development Authority, which played a key role in building the local economy.

Lifoifoi is survived by his wife Cecille, son Joseph Jr., and daughters Ignacia and Remedios.


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