TIT FOR TAT: CNMI’S SABLAN WON’T INVITE

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GOVERNOR
Fitial snubbed congressional delegate last year

By Haidee V. Eugenio SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Dec. 27, 2010) – When Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan takes his oath of office for the second time in Washington, D.C. on January 5, Governor Benigno R. Fitial is likely to not be there-again.

[PIR editor’s note: Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan is the current nonvoting delegate to the United States House of Representatives from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.]

This time around, Sablan did not invite the governor.

Fitial, in an interview said he will attend the inauguration if he's invited to it.

Sablan, when asked for comment said Fitial did not attend his first swearing-in in January 2009 even though he was invited.

Fitial was in Washington, D.C. at the time of the 2009 inauguration and crossed path with Sablan but still did not attend the milestone event for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Sablan said the 2009 swearing-in was a historic event as it marked the first time that the CNMI had a nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.

"He had his chance," Sablan said yesterday.

Sablan said in 2009, he was given 15 slots for his guests. For the 2011 swearing in, he's given only 10 slots. Half of them are for his family members, while the other half is for other guests.

Fitial indicated that he will be in Washington, D.C. early next year and plans to meet with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The governor strongly campaigned for one of Sablan's three opponents in the November 2010 delegate election-Joseph Camacho of the Covenant Party. Fitial and Sablan have been at odds over a host of issues.

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