WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Tuesday's presidential election on the country's largest American Indian reservation is moving forward after the Navajo Nation's highest court overturned a decision that called for it to be cancelled.
The tribe's Supreme Court justices issued a brief order Monday and said they would elaborate on their decision later.
The presidential contest has been embroiled in court challenges sparked by a question over fluency in the Navajo language, protests and legislative maneuvering that pushed it beyond Nov. 4. Voters are both frustrated and pleased that the election is moving forward.
Window Rock District Judge Carol Perry granted a request last week to halt the election, saying tribal law was clear that a referendum on language requirements had to be held ahead of the presidential election.
Election officials appealed Monday to the tribe's Supreme Court, which nullified Perry's order and said Tuesday's election will proceed as scheduled.
Joe Shirley Jr. and Russell Begaye are facing off to succeed Ben Shelly as president. Shelly addressed lawmakers for the final time Monday during their spring session in the tribal capital, saying, "we must put the election behind us and move forward united, as a people, to face the challenges of the future."
A new president and vice president will be sworn in May 12.