The Chuuk State government is (yet again) preparing to hold a referendum on July 4, 2018 to determine if Chuukese citizens want to leave the FSM and the US to become the Republic of Chuuk.
Defiantly, the Chuuk Political Status Commission (CPSC) which openly advocates for secession from the FSM and independence from the United States chose to hold this special election on the 4th of July, American Independence Day.
Strategically, a July 4th election may mean low voter turnout of Chuukese in the US who traditionally hold church, sports, and family gatherings on that long weekend. The CPSC know that their largest opposition is from Chuukese citizens who are living, working, attending schools, seeking healthcare in the US under the protection of the current Amended Compact of Free Association (COFA) between the FSM and the US governments.
Disturbingly, when asked about the fate of the thousands of Chuukese holding FSM passports living in the US if Chuuk secedes from the FSM, the CPSC have no real solution other than to negotiate another COFA…something that took over 20 years for the FSM and Palau. The legal counsel for the CPSC, Mr. Sabino Asor, has even publicly claimed to have held talks with US representatives in the FSM about the option of negotiating another COFA for Chuuk to which the US Ambassador denied.
For now, monitor the Chuuk Reform website (www.chuukstate.org), add your voice to our online petition to keep the FSM united, educate yourself on the implications of this Chuuk secession movement on the lives of Chuukese in the US. Attend public hearing (if any is held in the coming months) and ask a lot of questions of those who support this movement. Do your own research and show up to vote on July 4th.
Perhaps, this July 4th, we should plan to mobilize our large gatherings to show up to vote against this suicidal and illegal act of defiance by a few leaders who may benefit more from a Republic of Chuuk.