POHNPEI CANDIDATES URGE ABSENTEES TO VOTE

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SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Dec. 3) – The more than 400 Pohnpeians living in the CNMI are urged to get involved in this week’s runoff election for the state’s top office.

Eugene Pangelinan, son of gubernatorial candidate Del S. Pangelinan, was on island Friday to meet with the Pohnpei community and encourage them to exercise their "right to be heard."

On Nov. 13, Pohnpei held its gubernatorial election which John Ehsa topped with 6,411 votes.

Former Gov. Del Pangelinan finished second in the five-way race with 3,724 votes.

The three other candidates and the votes they received were former state Speaker Feliciano M. Perman, 3,078; Federated States of Micronesia Historic Preservation Director Rufino Mauricio, 2,922; and Lt. Gov. Jack E. Yakana, 2,913.

A runoff between the top two candidates — Ehsa and Pangelinan — will be held since no candidate received the 50- percent-plus-one requirement.

There are 20,000 registered voters in Pohnpei including absentee voters from Guam, the CNMI, Hawaii and the mainland U.S.

On Dec. 11, Pohnpeians here will cast their ballots in the runoff election at the Garapan Round House from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Eugene Pangelinan said he will also visit Guam to campaign for his father and inform his countrymen about "what’s happening back home."

"The purpose of my visit is not just to campaign for my father but to give our people information and updates on what’s happening back home," he said. "We want to emphasize that their participation in the runoff is as important as their participation the general election last month."

He said nearly 200 Pohnpeians cast their ballots in the CNMI in their state’s general election Nov. 13.

Guam, he added, has over 1,000 Pohnpeian voters.

Eugene Pangelinan said the Nov. 13 election turnout was the highest ever recorded in the state.

"We’re spreading the information about the runoff and the importance of casting their ballots. We encourage them to come in full force for the runoff," he said.

For the lt. governor’s position, the runoff will be between Churchill Edward and Kyumi Albert-Kilmede.

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