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Navajo Nation Council to consider language requirement veto

Chris Deschene and his former running mate, Fannie Atcitty, campaigned on the Navajo Nation before he was removed from the ballot. Photo from Facebook

The Navajo Nation Council is opening a special session today and a bill to ease the language requirements for presidential candidates is back on the agenda.

President Ben Shelly refused to sign Bill 0298-14 last month, effectively ending the candidacy of Chris Deschene, who is not as fluent in the Navajo language as he'd like to be. But lawmakers could override the veto today or tomorrow.

Navajo Nation presidential candidate Russell Begaye and his running mate, Jonathan Nez. Photo from Facebook

Meanwhile, the candidate who replaced Deschene on the ballot is facing a challenge to his candidacy. The Office of Hearings and Appeals will hear arguments today on a petition that questions the "unswerving loyalty" of Russell Begaye due to his connection to lawsuit that challenged the tribe's jurisdiction..

Joe Shirley Jr., right, and his running mate, Dineh Benally. Photo from Twitter

Begaye is due to face Joe Shirley Jr., a former president, in a special election on December 23. The vote was supposed to take place November 4 but legal issues involving Deschene forced a delay.

The winner of the election will serve a four-year term.

Get the Story:
Navajo court to hear challenge in president's race (AP 11/13)
Navajo Nation Council to convene in special session (The Farmington Daily Times 11/13)
Navajo Nation committee votes to override president's language requirement veto; full council vote next (KOB 11/12)

Also Today:
Minority-language report (The Economist 11/13)

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