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OHA clears Begaye to run for president

OHA clears Begaye to run for president

WINDOW ROCK

Russell Begaye is qualified to run for Navajo Nation president.

That was the decision released on Monday by the Navajo Nation Office of Hearings and Appeals.

Richie Nez, OHA’s hearing officer, agreed with plaintiff Myron McLaughlin that an individual running for president must have “unswerving loyalty” to the tribe, but disagreed with the complainant.

McLaughlin said he filed suit against Begaye, claiming that the presidential candidate violated his loyalty to the tribe by being a party to a lawsuit filed in federal court trying to overturn a decision by the Navajo Nation Supreme Court.

“The OHA finds, as a matter of law, that such action is not ‘disloyal’ such that it would disqualify a candidate running for president,” the ruling states.

McLaughlin now has 10 days to decide whether he wants to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

About The Author

Bill Donovan

Bill Donovan has been writing about the Navajo Nation government since 1971 and for the Navajo Times since 1976. He is currently semi-retired and is living in Torrance, California, and continues to report for the Navajo Times.