PALAU COURT RULES AGAINST RECALL EFFORT

By Agnes M. Abrau

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, Oct. 1) — The Supreme Court’s Trial Division has ruled that there will no recall election here on Oct. 8.

In a 13-page decision, the court said Article VIII, Section 11 of Koror’s state constitution is "not self executing" and that the rules and regulations for the recall election on Oct. 8 are invalid.

The court said the recall provision of Palau’s national constitution "does not even offer a starting point for interpretation."

The constitution’s provision that "the electorate may recall an elected member of the Legislature pursuant to law" does not offer any clue either as to what percentage of voters must sign a recall petition or what percentage must vote in favor of the recall.

On Aug. 15, the members of the Election Commission — Santos Borja, Gregorio Decherong, Sally Techitong Soalablai and Baudista Rengulbai — were presented with a petition for the recall of Koror legislator Ngiratecheboet Eberdong.

On Aug. 25, the speaker of the Koror State Legislature wrote to the commission, saying that they should wait for the adoption of a Koror state law that would set forth the grounds and procedures for a recall petition.

Despite this request, the commission on Sept. 4, citing the authority granted by the Palau National Code, adopted the rules and regulations for the recall election of Eberdong, a legislator from Ngerchemai hamlet.

On Sept. 12, Eberdong and the Koror State Legislature asked the court to prevent the scheduled election from going forward.

October 1, 2003

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

 

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