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By Oyaol Ngirairikl

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Nov. 4) – It looks like President Tommy Remengesau Jr. may have another four years as president of the Republic of Palau, though Palauans may have to wait until today for the final count.

Palau's Election Commission was still counting votes from Tuesday's General Election last night. Counting was expected to continue late into the night.

The count, which election commission officials had hoped to complete by yesterday afternoon, was slowed by the five constitutional amendments that also went to Palauan voters Tuesday.

Presley Etibek, tabulator for the election commission, said as of yesterday morning, the ballots for Koror and many of the northern village states had been tallied between Tuesday night and yesterday morning.

According to results released by the Palau Election Commission as of 7 p.m. yesterday, Remengesau garnered 3,443 votes, while challenger Polycarp Basilius received 1,960 votes.

What officials were still counting yesterday afternoon were the results from Kayangel, the northernmost state in the Palauan archipelago, and southern states, Etibek said.

Polls in those areas closed Tuesday evening too late for boats carrying ballot boxes to travel safely to Koror, the island nation's capital.

"The ballots from the northern-most and southern states weren't brought in until this morning," Etibek said around 7 p.m. yesterday, Guam time. "Hopefully we'll be done around 10 or 11 o'clock."

The five proposed constitutional amendments would allow dual citizenship; allow the election of president and vice president as a team; limit representatives of the Palauan Congress to three four-year terms; reduce the two congressional Houses to one; and adjust congressional members' salaries.

November 4, 2004

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