According to Tia Belau, "during the recount on ballot for Mr. Idechong was found to have another name "Lyndon" written on the blank line for write-in candidate thereby making it rendering it void. In another ballot, none of the ovals for Idechong and Tulop were blackened but Tulop's name was written in the space for write-in candidate. This was counted in favor of Tulop...After the recount, the winner and the loser switched places with Tulop coming on top by one vote."
The certification of the Nov. 2 general election is not quiet final yet as a recount petition by Sens. Andres and Malsol and a concerned citizen Ngiraiterong Oit was approved by Associate Justice Miller of the Palau Supreme Court.
Sen. Malsol asked for a recount because of allegations that automated vote counting may not be accurate because the machine read the "write-ins". Saying that, "suppose they voted for nine senators and voted for a write-in candidate, so that's a void ballot. The machine also cannot count undervoting". Undervoting happens when less than nine cadidates were chosen by the voter. Meanwhile Dr. Caleb Otto is saying, "There's nothing I can do. I have to obey the law"...I trust in dog. Whatever happens is good for me."
In what might be a sign that the coming 8th olbiil era kelulau will not change and only prolong the continuing disunity between the House of Delegates and the President is attested by the uniform comnpensation to the members of the OEK. Initiative #5 calls for a compensation with the amount of fee to be determined by law for each day the member attends an official session.
Speaker Bells told the Palau Horizon, it is the President who proposed the amendments to the constitution,"We asked the President to introduce a law as he may know the background and be able to independently draft it. He is in a better position to enact a law regarding amount of compensation."
With the initiatives in effect, OEK members are not paid until they enact a legislation, consistent with the amendment of the consitution. Bells further added, I'm most uncomfortable to set my own salary there is always a conflict of interest."
Oh my, my, as I remember the last OEK salary increase - in the 5th OEK I believe - was not requested by the President on behalf of the OEK to avoid the conflict of interest. They overbearingly gave themselves salary raise as well as increasing their office expense (and later becoming the "sole judge" on how they spend their office expense) against the tide of public opinion. So why this time instead they are invoking the "conflict of interest" principle and putting Remengesau on the spot.
...and this feeling of enmity in November 2004 is what we might be witnessing between HOD that returned 14 of its 16 members during the election and the re-elected President for another four years commencing in January 2005. All eyes will now turn to the Senate as a more tempered body, playing a counterbalancing role to the hostile politics of the HOD and the President. A beacon of hope to the people who wanted a change and not the continuing ugly politics that has come to define our current 6th OEK.
With the passage of Initiative #1 that allows for dual citizenship now in effect. The Passport Office is now reporting that as of yesterday (Nov. 22) applications for Dual Citizenship is now streaming in with three applicants so far. The Passport Office is said to have began deliberations on the applicants. While at the same time trying to come up with emergency regulations to govern the process.
Delegtate Toribiong of Koror State said that lawmakers should be alowed to get a second job. Interviewed by Palau Horizon, he said that now that the lawmakers will be paid for every session attended (100 session days/year) lawmakers should be permitted to seek private jobs elsewhere to make ends meet.
"It is the intention of the initiators to save public funds. I know the intention was not to make the National Congress to be underpaid. In this case we are part-time employees. I should be allowed to get a job somewhere because I have a family to support and constituents to serve", Toribiong said. He also further added that now that the OEK lawmakers are bringing their salary down to save money, the Executive Branch as well as other government agencies should also lower their salaries saying, "they should be a team player and it should be a fair game".
...and the 8th olbiil era kelulau hasn't even began.
As I have been travelling in the Far East for a week , I have not been able to recieve any updates much less any new development coming out from the election commission. Even if as Ngiwal Lady says is true in the comment section that Elia Tulop won after a hand recount it is and still a heartbreaking news.
"Elia Tulop was certified as of 16 November 2004 by the ROP President as NGIWAL DELEGATE after a hand-recounting of all Ngiwal ballots, ordered by Court."
I am not going to have detail information about this until I return home this coming Sunday.
After months of grueling campaign from both camps, the election for Ngiwal State Delegate seat between the current Delegate Noah Idechong and a former governor and two-term delegate Elia Tulop came down to a difference of only one vote.
After all the votes counted, Initiative #4 which would have created a one-house legislature became the only initiative to fail as voters in Kayangel, Ngardmau, Angaur, Sonsorol, and Hatohobei rejected the amendment.
Initiative #1: Dual citizenship YES - 5,794 (58%) NO - 3,458 (34%) (all 16 states gave approval)
Initiative #2: Pres/VP One-Tticket: YES - 5,380 (54%) NO - 3,839 (38%) (only the state of Kayangel and Sonsorol rejected the amendment)
Initiative #3: OEK Term-Limits YES - 5,598 (56%) NO - 3,567 (35%) (Kayangel, Sonsorol, and Hatohobei rejected the amendment)
Initiative #4: Unicameral Legislature YES - 5,125 (51%) NO - 3,991 (36%) (passed by majority of voters but the amendment failed as the voters of Kayangel, Ngardmau, Angaur, Sonsorol, and Hatohobei rejected the amendment)
Initiative #5: OEK members compensation YES - 6,466 (64%) NO - 2600 (26%) (Sonsorol rejected the amendment)
Note that our constitution mantains that any initiatives must be approved by a majority of total vote cast and at least 12 of the 16 states (75%) of the Republic
The results of the charter change through the Constitutional Convention was approved by a 53 percent of the voters. According to the figures from Palau Horizon, of the 9,665 voters who casted their votes 5,085 said "Yes" while 3,742 or 39 percent said "NO". While 807 or 8 percent of the voters left it blank. Here's the breakdown for the off-island ballots: