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PALAU’S MELEKEOK STATE HAS NEW GOVERNOR Tellei replaces convicted predecessor Kodep

By Heide E. Vinoya MELEKEOK, Palau (Palau Horizon, May 24, 2010) - After several days of waiting, the elected governor of Melekeok State will be sworn into office on June, according to Palau’s Melekeok State Office.

[PIR editor’s note: According to Palau’s national government website, the adoption of the constitution has given Palau’s 16 states authority to formulate their own constitutional conventions and elect their respective legislatures and heads of state. Therefore, depending on the constitution of each of the sixteen states, they respectively have their own local government comprised of local legislators, governors, traditional chiefs, elders, and high ranking clans.]

Source from the office said that Aloisius "Along" Tellei is set to have his oath on the first week of June, however the specific date is yet to be announced.

On Monday the Palau Election Commission (PEC) certified the election result after the members of the Board of Commission conducted a meeting.

Maria Decherong-Simer, PEC Administrative Specialist II said they certified the result because the State is waiting for the Board to act on the matter.

"The board certified the result because the State is waiting for them and this was the special election. So special election is different from scheduled election. We have to certify within the certain period of five days from the day of election." Simer said in an interview.

She said f the protesters want to pursue their complaint they can file it but the certification of the result doesn’t affect the complaint.

"The protesters have the right to go ahead and appeal it if they wish to do that. They have the right to sue us or the opponent if they wish to." Simer added.

The Commission allegedly believes that the only intention of the complainant is to delay or stop the certification of the election result.

"Probably that is their intention but I don’t know. But that’s it they never complained again since we certified the result on Monday." Simer said.

On May 4, losing candidate Kazuo Asanuma filed an election protest before the PEC.

Asanuma filed his complaint concerning the tent set up by the supporters of Tellei outside the PEC where the Koror central box was set up.

Allegedly the tent was erected 100 feet from the voting place which is a violation of the election law. Under the law, no campaign activities are to be held 500 feet away from the polling precinct.

Based on the official result Tellei got 196 votes against Asanuma who has 139 votes.

The Special election was held after former Gov. Lazarus Kodep stepped down after he was convicted and sentenced for misuse of public funds.

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