Palau Primary Election Polling Begins

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3 candidates stand for president, 4 for vice-president

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Sept. 26, 2012) – Over 12,000 registered voters on Palau are expected to go to various polling places beginning 7 a.m. today to cast their votes for the Primary Election.

The top two of the three presidential candidates (including Tommy Remengesau Jr., Sandra Pierantozzi and Johnson Toribiong) and four vice presidential candidates (including Dr. Stevenson Kuartei, Jacksong Ngiraingas, Antonio Bells and Kerai Mariur) in the primary election will face off in the General Election on November 6.

Last night, Palau Election Commission personnel prepared the various polling places.

Ngarachamayong Cultural Center will be the central polling place for Ngcheyangel, Babeldaob and Ioueldaob. VAPP polling place (for voters from other states who requested to cast vote in Koror) will also be at the cultural center.

The polling place for Ngcheyangel voters will be at Bai ra Melengel, Mengellakl for Ngarchelong, Typhoon Shelter Ngara Choll for Ngaraard, Labk for Ngiwal, Bailechesau for Melekeok, Community Center El Ngara Ked for Airai, Aimeliik Community Center for Aimeliik and Ngaremlengui Old Age Center for Ngaremlengui.

Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngardmau, Peleliu and Angaur will have their respective state offices as polling places.

In Koror, the polling place for voters from Ngermid will be at Bai ra Ngerbachesis, Bai ra Elangel for Ngerkesoal, Bai ra Ibelau for Ngarchemai, Osial ra Catholic Mission for Iyebukel/Idid, Palau National Olympic Committee Gym for Meketii, Dngeronger, Ikelau and Madalaii, Bai ra Ngedechibel for Ngerbeched, Youth Center el Ngara Skozio for Meyuns and Blai ra Taoch for Ngerkebesang.

Sonsorol and Hatohobei voters are considered absentee voters. The commission disclosed that they already received 15 absentee ballots from Southwest voters and 273 from walk-in voters who voted earlier as they cannot be on island during the primary.

There are a total of 2,220 absentee ballots sent by the commission overseas. Of the 2,220, the commission received 807 as of Friday.

Deadline for the commission to receive absentee ballots will be on October 2, seven days after the Primary.

While the primary election is taking place, candidates were reminded earlier by Koror State of its no-campaign policy on the day of the election.

Koror State prohibits all forms of advertising or notice in which the name, photo or drawing or likeness, political office or ballot number of a candidate or any words or symbols suggesting a vote in a particular manner on any question are displayed for public viewing.

Candidates were also reminded to remove from public view all of its campaign materials or cover these completely beginning 12 midnight until polls are closed at 7 p.m.

It is also unlawful for any person or group to provide money, food, drinks, materials or services including taking or transporting a voter to a voting booth or place for the purpose of influencing or swaying the voter to vote for or against a candidate during election.

Before 12 midnight, some supporters began covering billboards of their candidates.

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