Navajo people vote to limit tribal legislature and expand power of president

Navajo voters went to the polls on Tuesday and overwhelmingly supported the reduction of the Navajo Nation Council (the legislature) to 24 members from 88, and gave the President of the Nation line item veto authority.

The unofficial results showed 25,206 yes votes to 16,166 no votes to reduce the council, and 24,489 yes votes to 16,893 no votes to approve the line item veto.

President Joe Shirley said the initiatives are just a start toward reforming the Navajo government. Next, he said, could be a more comprehensive government reform, and perhaps more elective offices such as attorney general and Navajo Nation treasurer, both whom could not be threatened with firing by the council.

Now that the people have approved reducing the council, the next step in the process is to develop a reapportionment plan for 24 delegates, he said. That will be done by the Navajo Election Administration, approved by the Navajo Board of Election Supervisors and forwarded to the current council to debate and approve.

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