Palau Senate Vice President Hokkons Baules Replaced

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Baules reportedly lacked respect, ‘difficult to work with’

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Nov. 1, 2013) – Palau’s Senate yesterday closed the fourth regular session with a re-organization by removing Sen. Hokkons Baules as Vice President and replacing him with Sen. Phillip Reklai.

Information from the Senate disclosed that toward the end of the session, a resolution was introduced to reorganize the leadership of the Senate of the 9th Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK) by electing Reklai as the new VP.

Island Times obtained copy of Senate Resolution No. 9-91 that explains why Baules was removed as VP.

The resolution states that when the Senate of the 9th OEK was installed and organized on January 15 this year, Baules was elected VP "with hope that his seniority and experience will greatly assist the Senate in the Ninth Olbiil Era Kelulau achieve its goals of enacting much-needed legislations to help the Republic and improve lives and welfare of its people."

The resolution further states that while Baules did contribute to the enactment of some of the legislations which have come into effect, "he has become increasingly difficult to work with, showing no respect, cooperation nor support toward fellow senators; disrespectfully interfering with the roles, duties and responsibilities of the Senate Standing Committees and their respective chairman; dictating the operation of the Senate, including general staff, thereby causing confusion and fear among general staff; and often temperamental to a point of showing signs of aggression and intimidation to fellow senators both during and outside of sessions."

It is believed that the actions and conducts of Baules, if allowed to continue, will likely damage the integrity of the Senate as well as disrupt the work of the Senate, thereby hindering and curtailing the ability of the Senate to effectively serve the people of Palau.

The resolution states that "in order for the Senate to function well" it must re-organize its own house.

It was adopted with seven yes votes and four no votes. A Senate staff said that those who voted against were Sen. Mark Rudimch, Sen. Regis Akitaya, Sen. Kathy Kesolei and Sen. Joel Toribiong. Sen. Baules and Sen. Mlib Tmetuchl were reportedly not present in yesterday’s session.

Reklai was sworn in as the new VP following the adoption of the resolution.

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