Oct 22, 2014 12:27 PM

Tribe's high court orders candidate off ballot

The Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) A candidate for president of the Navajo Nation has lost another round in a language fluency dispute, all but ending his bid for office.

The tribe's high court on Wednesday upheld a ruling from a lower court that said Chris Deschene (des-CHEE'-nee) is not qualified to seek the top elected post because he doesn't speak fluent Navajo.

But the high court didn't rule on the merits of the case. Instead, the justices dismissed it over lack of jurisdiction because Deschene did not include a copy of his disqualification order with his notice of appeal.

Deschene has said he's proficient in the language.

The Supreme Court says election officials must move up the third-place finisher from the primary election. It's unclear whether Navajos will choose a new tribal president on Nov. 4.


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