Cherokee chief candidates wait up to 2 more days

AP News
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Posted: Jul 19, 2011 10:15 PM
Cherokee chief candidates wait up to 2 more days

The Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation says it will take up to two days to decide whether to let the results of a disputed election for chief stand or order a new vote. Multiple recounts have seen the incumbent and challenger each twice declared the winner.

Principal Chief Chad Smith argued Tuesday that the latest recount was supervised by four of the five Supreme Court justices, and the result showing him winning by four votes should stand.

Challenger Bill John Baker asked the court to order a new election because the uncertainty surrounding it has cast a pall over the process.

The justices are to rule by Thursday night. At stake is the leadership of 300,000 Cherokees and the right to administer a $600 million annual tribal budget.