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ABOUT THE STATE OF YAP


     The State of Yap is one of the four states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia, along with the states of Pohnpei, Chuuk and Kosrae.  Yap is the Western-most island in the FSM, located about midway between Guam and Palau.

     Yap is comprised of the main islands of Yap, Gagil, Tomil, and Rumung.  Yap State stretches eastward, for another 1,200 or so kilometers and includes another 134 outer islands, most of them low-lying atolls.

     The Yapese were seafaring people who sailed vast distances over the Pacific.  Even in recent times, canoes from Yap have sailed to the Marianas, Okinawa, and Palau.  The trip to Palau was made to re-enact the quarrying of stone money.  In centuries past, Yapese made the life-threatening 1000 kilometer round trip voyage to Palau's Rock Islands to quarry the now famous stone money. Yap is probably best known for this stone money - huge disks of crytalline stone.  These stone disks measure up to two meters in diameter, and weigh as much as four tons, making them the world's largest currency.

     Yap State has its own constitutional government with three co-equal branches of government consisting of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.  Yap also has traditional leaders that serve in the Council of Pilung and the Council of Tamol which perform functions concerning tradition and custom.  See Art. III of the Yap State Constitution .

     The Executive Branch is headed by a Govenor and a Lt. Governor and they are primarily resposible for executing the laws and administering state government services.  See Art. VI of the Yap State Constitution.

      The legislative power of the State is vested in the Legislature. Such power extends to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with the Yap Constitution.  The Legislature is composed of ten members, who shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective election districts.  See Art. V of the Yap State Constitution.

     The judicial power of the State is vested in its State Court, and other courts as may be created by law.  The State Court is the highest court of the State and consists of a Chief Justice and two Associate Justices.  The number of Associate Justices may be increased by law upon the request of the State Court.  Retired justices may serve temporarily on the State Court at the request of the Chief Justice.  See Art. VII of the Yap State Constitution.

     The state government leaders and some key staff are as follows:
 
Executive
Governor:   Hon. Sebastian L. Anefal
Lt. Governor:   Hon. Tony Tareg
Attorney General:  Hon. Victor Nabeyan
Chief of Litigation: 
Assistant Attorney General:  Ms. Cara F. Thornton, Esq.
                                                      Mr. William H. Martin, Esq.
 
Legislature
Speaker, Yap Legislature:   Hon. Charles S. Chieng
Vice Speaker, Yap Legislature:   Hon. Sabino Sauchomal
Floor Leader:  Hon. John Mooteb
Members:
      Hon. Clement Mulalap
      Hon. Raymond Igechep
      Hon. Jesse Raglmar-Subolmar
      Hon. Joseph Giliko
      Hon. Henry Falan
      Hon. Ted Rutun
      Hon. John Mesiwemai
Legislative Clerk:  Dee N. Libian
Legislative Counsel:  Mrs. Leelkan Dabchuren, Esq.
 
Judiciary
Chief Justice:   Hon. Cyprian Manmaw, Esq.
Associate Justice:   Hon. Cyprian Mugunbey
                                      Hon. Lawrence Kenbaroy
Yap State Court Counsel:  Ms. Seema Shah, Esq.
Clerk of Court:  Mrs. Laura T. Ngaden
Court Administrator:  Mr. Andy Choor
 
Traditional Leaders
Chairman, Council of Pilung:   Hon. Bruno Tharngan
Chairman, Council of Tamol:   Hon. Ignathio Gapthey 
 
Other Agencies/Organizations 
Public Defender: 
MLSC, Dir. Attorney:  Mr. John T. Mootmag, Esq.
 
    For more visitor information on Yap, visit the Yap page of the FSM Visitors Board web site.