Quiet Campaigning Begins For Palau’s General Election

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

Pierantozzi, Remengesau, Whipps are candidates for President

KOROR, Palau (Marianas Variety, Feb. 17, 2016) – The campaign for Palau’s 2016 general elections began rather early this time unlike in the previous elections since the Republic was born in 1981.

Sen. Sandra Pierantozzi, who was the guest a speaker at the Ngatpang State Constitutional Day on Friday, declared publicly that she is a presidential candidate. The other hopefuls, Sen. Surangel Whipps Jr. and President Tommy Remengesau, were in the audience.

Whipps has not only announced in several radio appearances and newspaper ads in the past weeks his candidacy for the top office of the land, he also has done house-to-house campaigning with his father on Babeladaob recently while his stickers on vehicles are already all over Palau. He was reportedly overseas during the Valentine weekend visiting Palauan voters abroad.

President Remengesau is expected to make his announcement on Feb. 29, 2016, his 60th birthday, during a function at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center in Koror.

A former two-term vice president, Remengesau was president from 2001 to 2009. He was again elected president in 2012.

In recent weeks, he has been making state visits with his cabinet ministers and other officials, informing the people of the programs and projects of his administration and listening to their concerns.

Vice President and Justice Minister Antonio Bells, who is presently in Manila undergoing a medical check-up, has said he will make known in March whether he will be in the race or not. He is expected to return soon to the country.

The presidential primary will be held in September, and the top two candidates will run in the November elections.

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