CNMI GOVERNOR SEEKS INAUGURATION DONATIONS

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Austerity forces effort to avoid tapping budget

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 31, 2009) – In the Northern Marianas efforts are being made to ensure as little government money as possible is used in the inauguration of Governor Benigno Fitial.

Mr Fitial was re-elected earlier this month following a run off election against Heinz Hofschneider.

For Mr Fitial’s first inauguration, four years ago, the government contributed 200 thousand US dollars.

But this time an inauguration committee is trying to fund raise, while Mr Fitial himself solicited funds during a recent stop over in Guam.

A spokesperson for the committee says this effort to minimize the use of public funds differentiate this inauguration from such affairs in the past.

The Fitial administration has been forced to institute austerity measures over the past five years as the territory faced a succession of economic crises.

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