Navajo Presidential Election Now Set For August

By Al Macias
Published: Sunday, January 11, 2015 - 10:17pm

The president of the Navajo Nation will continue to serve in that office even though his term expires Tuesday. Over the weekend the Navajo Nation Supreme Court effectively allowed current President Ben Shelly to continue serving.

This is the latest twist in the tribe’s presidential election that didn’t take place last November.

The presidential race was thrown into turmoil before the tribe's Nov. 4 general election when candidate Chris Deschene was disqualified because of a ruling that he wasn't fluent in the Navajo language. That is a requirement for Navajo presidential candidates.

Following a series of legal and administrative battles new elections were scheduled. The primary election is now scheduled for June 2 with the general election set for Aug. 4.

The Navajo Nation Department of Justice filed a petition last month asking the Tribal Supreme court clarify who would be acting president.

Now Shelly will retain presidential duties at least until the new Tribal council's winter session starts later this month. Lawmakers will then discuss the next steps, according to the speakers' office.