Voters to choose next Leader of Navajo Nation

Voters to choose next Leader of Navajo Nation

The battle of two politicians contesting to become the next president of the Navajo Nation will end on Tuesday as voters in the Native American-governed US territory head to poll in an election which is about five months behind its original schedule.

Joe Shirley Jr., Navajo politician who was elected President of the Navajo Nation in November 2002, and Russell Begaye, who worked as a tribal lawmaker, are seeking the post on the largest American Indian reservation of the country.

On Tuesday, both of them will be stopped by community centers. By speaking on radio, they will also appeal voters to cast ballots. Their election day will end in the tribal capital of Window Rock, where they will wait for election results. Their supporters will also be with them.

Former two-term tribal president Shirley earlier said that he is a proven leader and doesn’t need any time to acclimate to the office. On the other side, Begaye said that this time people want someone who is not entrenched in office and also offer new ideas.

The path to become President of the Navajo Nation was burdened with many court battles, protests and efforts to turn election law. As per reports, it all started with Chris Deschene when he was challenged over his ability to speak Navajo language. In the end, he was disqualified and Russell Begaye moved on to the general election.

A number of times, Supreme Court of the tribe was asked to step in and remove Deschene from the ballot. The court was also asked to hold contest between Begaye and Shirley without any delay.

As per the reports, about 120,000 Navajos will vote. Polls will be open from 6 am to 7 pm.