Special Election In Palau To Replace Late Senator Kesolei

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Seven candidates, including former Vice President, run for seat

By Jose Rodriguez T. Senase

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Dec. 20, 2015) – Voters will go to the polls tomorrow to choose the candidate who will fill the seat left vacant by the recent death of Senate Vice President Kathy Kesolei.

The election will be held from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The following are the States and the location of polling places in each of them (Proper Box):

Kayangel (Bai Ra Melengel); Ngarchelong (State Office); Ngaraard (State Office); Ngiwal (Labk); Melekeok (Bai-Le-Esau); Ngchesar (State Office); Ngardmau (State Office); Ngaremelngui (Old Age Center); Ngatpang (State Office); Aimeliik (Community Center); Peleliu (State Office); Angaur (State Office); Sonsorol (Absentee); and Hatohobei (Absentee).

The Central Box for all aforementioned areas will be at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center.

The hamlets and polling places (Proper Box) for Airai are the following: Ngchesechang (Ked Community Center); Oikull (Ked Community Center); Ordomel (Bai Ra Melengel); Ngerusar (Bai Ra Obraod); Ngeruluobel (Bai Ra Obraod); and Ngetkib (Bai Ra Obraod).

In Koror the hamlets and the polling places (Proper Box) are the following: Ngermid (Bai Ra Ngermid); Ngerkesouaol ( Bai Ra Ngerkesouaol); Ngerchemai (Bai Ra Ngerchemai); Iyebukel (Osiaol Ra Catholic Mission); Idid (Osiaol Ra Catholic Mission); Ikelau (Bai Ra Meketii); Dngeronger (Bai Ra Meketii); Ngerbeched (Bai Ra Ngerbeched); Medalii (Amayong); Meyuns (Youth-Center/Skozio Ra Meyuns); and Ngerkebesang (Summer House/Skozio Ra Meyuns).

There are seven candidates vying for the vacant seat: Seit Andres, Satoru Adachi, Faustina Rehuher-Marugg, Sandra Pierantozzi, Jeff Ngirarsaol, Margie Borja Dalton, and Regina Mesebeluu.

Andres is a former Senate President. Andres served as Senate President from 1999 to 2004 during Senate of the 5th and 6th OEK.

Adachi previously served as Administrator of the Social Security Administration (SSA). He also had a stint as General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of the Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC).

Mesebeluu was a member of the Senate of the 8th Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK) from 2009 to 2013.

Ngirarsaol is a long-time Grants Coordinator of the National Government. He also had a stint working for the United States (US) Embassy in Palau.

Marugg served as Minister of Culture during the administration of former President Johnson Toribiong. Marugg was also Director of the Belau National Museum (BNM) for 30 years from 1979 to 2009.

Pierantozzi served as Vice President of Palau from 2001 to 2005. Pierantozzi, who is successful businesswoman, also had stints as a Senator, Minister of Health, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State during the Etpison, Remengesau and Toribiong administrations.

Pierantozzi is also Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic to Palau.

Dalton is a businesswoman/entrepreneur by profession. She designed, built, owned and operated Image Restaurant for over 20 years and has overseen the management of several restaurants including Food and Beverage Service Manager at Palasia Hotel.

Dalton also assisted with the first Petroleum Oil Study in Palau which has provided the data necessary to raise interest for the possibility of oil in Palau.

The winner of the race will fill the unfinished term of Kesolei, which runs until early 2017.

Palau has around 15,000 registered voters. Just like in previous special elections for the Senate, turnout is expected to be low this time.

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