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Navajo presidential election a political cliffhanger (access required)

The 2014 Navajo Nation presidential election has been rocked over a requirement that presidential candidates speak the Navajo language fluently. Chris Deschene, one of the two general election nominees, has been challenged for his admittedly limited language proficiency. In recent weeks, attention to it — and voter rolls — on the Navajo Reservation has grown.

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In this Oct. 3, 2014 file photo, Navajo presidential candidate Chris Deschene greets supporters in Window Rock, Ariz. (AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca, File)

Navajo Nation Council passes emergency language requirement repeal

Shortly after midnight last night, the Navajo Nation Council voted to scrap the longstanding requirement for the tribe’s president to be fluent in the Navajo Language. The eleventh-hour vote, approved 11-10 with one abstaining, clears a path for Chris Deschene to remain on the ballot. His qualifications had been challenged over his admittedly limited ability in speaking the Navajo language.