The impeachment process of the CNMI governor is underway

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The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana’s first impeachment trial of an incumbent governor began Friday in the Senate.

The historic impeachment trial of Governor Ralph DLG Torres comes with trepidation and uncertainty on the part of the House of Representatives as the Senate proceeded with the trial without prosecutors.

Northern Mariana governor Ralph Torres.
Photo: Republican Facebook CNMI

The Senate did not allow the House to field a team of prosecutors, insisting that the Senate rules only allow one.

The House passed a resolution in January that indicted Torres for allegedly committing crimes, corruption and negligence, in violation of the CNMI Constitution.

The first witnesses called on Friday defended Torres from corruption and the abandonment of the charges leveled against him.

Friday’s session focused on Torres’ first-class travel to Oregon and Alaska to the United States.

Torres is the second governor in the history of the CNMI to be impeached by the House.

Benigno R. Fitial was the first governor to be indicted by the House when 16 representatives voted for his impeachment in 2013. He resigned before the Senate could begin the trial.


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