With the flip of a coin, Navajo Nation lawmakers select temporary Speaker Pro Tem

WINDOW ROCK - After the inauguration of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council on Jan. 13, members convened for a special session to select a speaker pro tem to serve until a speaker is selected by the Council to serve a two-year term.

After a tie vote between Kee Allen Begay, Jr. and LoRenzo Bates and some legal advice, Kee Allen Begay was selected by the flip of a coin.

Begay, Jr. (Low Mountain, Many Farms, Nazlini, Tachee/Blue Gap, Tselani/Cottonwood) will serve as speaker pro tem until the selection of a speaker.

"The legislative branch and the Nation need to continue moving forward," Begay said. "I want to work with the executive and judicial branch for the benefit of the Navajo people."

Begay, who previously served two terms as a delegate, is a graduate of Arizona State University, an Army veteran, and a former teacher at Rough Rock High School.

"The legislative branch and the Office of the Speaker will remain fully-functional during the transition and throughout the coming weeks," Begay added.

Council also issued a directive to hold a work session prior to the start of the winter council session, to discuss Title II of the Navajo Nation Code. In accordance with the Nation's laws, amendments to Title II may only be brought forth for consideration at regular council sessions.

The council will convene for the opening day of the winter council session on Jan. 26.

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