PALAU INITIATIVE APPROVED FOR NOVEMBER BALLOT

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By Bernadette H. Carreon

KOROR (Palau Horizon, April ) — A popular initiative for amendments to the Palau Constitution proposed by President Tommy Remengasau will be on the ballot in the November elections.

The Election Commission has certified the petitions for having met the requirements spelled out in Palau’s constitution, according to presidential chief of staff Billy Kuartei.

He said the commission certified the popular initiative on April 16 after verifying the authenticity of the signatures in the petitions.

Kuartei said the administration will conduct public education on the popular initiative.

The proposed constitutional amendment calls for a unicameral national legislature, dual citizenship, one ticket for the candidates for president and vice president, term limits for lawmakers, and uniform compensation for members of the Olbiil Era Kelulau, Palau’s bicameral legislature.

Before it can be placed on the ballot, a popular initiative must be signed by not less than 25 percent of Palau’s registered voters.

Once the signatures on the petitions supporting the popular initiative are verified by the Election Commission, the popular initiative is placed on the ballot for the next general elections, which are slated in November this year.

Voters will also decide in November whether they want a constitutional convention to amend Palau’s constitution.

According to a resolution adopted by the Olbiil Era Kelulau earlier, the constitution states that the OEK may, at least every 15 years, "submit to voters the question: Shall there be a convention to revise or amend the constitution?"

The constitution states that if majority of the voters are in favor of holding a constitutional convention, it will be convened within six months.

April 29, 2004

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

 

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