Navajo lawmakers choose new Tribal Council speaker

Window Rock, Arizona (AP) January 2011

Navajo lawmakers have chosen Johnny Naize as the new head of the tribe’s legislative branch.

The fourth-term lawmaker will preside over Tribal Council meetings for the next two years. He was selected in a runoff with LoRenzo Bates.

The two were among five candidates who were nominated for the post.

Naize succeeds Lawrence Morgan as the speaker of the council. Morgan did not seek re-election last year.

The selection of a speaker was the first line of business last week for the 24 lawmakers meeting in their first regular session.

The council was reduced from 88 members in a special election in 2009.

Other items on the council’s agenda include reports from the tribal president and chief justice, and adopting a new committee structure.