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Chin wins by wide margin

By Jose Señase KOROR (Palau Horizon, Feb. 18, 2011) - The Palau Election Commission has declared former Vice President Camsek Elias Chin as the winner of the special election held Tuesday for the seat vacated by the death of Sen. Adalbert Eledui.

Chin topped a seven-candidate field.

Final and official results released by the commission showed that Chin obtained a winning margin of 1,281 over his nearest rival, businessman Phillip Reklai.

Based on the final tally, Chin obtained a total of 2,905 votes, while Reklai garnered 1,617 votes.

Behind them were Compact Review chief Joshua Koshiba who garnered 1,471 votes; Foreign Investment Board Chairman John Skebong, 714; former Sen. Caleb Otto, 225; former Speaker Mario Gulibert, 166; and attorney Victorio Uherbelau, 108.

Chin was strongest in Koror where he won by 747 votes over Reklai.

Chin received 1,129 votes in Koror to Reklai’s 382.

Chin also won most of the absentee votes and received the highest number of votes in other states except in Kayangel, Ngaremlengui and Aimeliik.

Maria Decherong, election commission administrative officer, said the turnout was low.

"Only half of the registered voters in this country voted," she added.

Of the 14,494 registered voters of Palau, only 7,250 voted during the special election.

Decherong said the result of the special election will be certified on Feb. 20.

The son of a Chinese-Palauan father and a Japanese mother, Chin defeated then-Vice President Sandra Pierantozzi in the 2004 elections to win the second highest elective post in Palau.

He ran for president in 2008 but lost narrowly to Johnson Toribiong.

Before becoming vice president, Chin served as justice minister during the administration of President Kuniwo Nakamura from 1997-2000.

Chin also served in the U.S. Army where he eventually rose to the rank of lt. colonel.

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