Court order setting Navajo election before Jan. 31 on hold
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajos won’t be electing a new president this month.
The tribe’s high court had ordered the presidential contest between Joe Shirley Jr. and Russell Begaye to be held by Jan. 31. But the court has put a stay on the order after being asked to strike down legislation that allows a do-over of last year’s primary election.
The last of the briefings in the case are due Feb. 6.
The court rejected requests to hold lawmakers who approved that legislation in contempt along with election officials.
Navajo lawmakers plan to consider another bill next week to rescind the special election, but it has little support.
The presidential election was thrown into turmoil after a candidate was disqualified because he failed to prove he was fluent in the Navajo language.
President Ben Shelly is serving as the tribe’s top leader until the mess gets sorted out.