155 Days to Election

Tia Belau Editorial, June 4, 2012 —

Today is June 4, and Palau begins its 5-month countdown to the general elections with the very real possibility that more new political faces will be inaugurated next year. 

Primary elections for president and vice president will be held in September 26, which is 114 days from today. However, the general election for all nationally elected offices is only 155 days away – November 6.

The election in 2008 may have been the most exciting for years as the constitutionally mandated term-limit allowed new candidates to vie for more open seats in the Olbiil Era Kelulau,  and voters were presented with a ballot of one-ticket for president and vice president.

Scanning the comments emanating from the hotbed of political discussions in coffeehouses, social media, and other social and cultural events, most Palauans believe many will not be re-elected.

The elected leaders of the 8th government of the republic created excitement with fresh faces and lots of ideas. Everybody was ready for a change.

The excitement has worn off and the voters have come down to reality. The new political leaders were expected to usher in a new kind of lawmaking that is less of low-level issues and bickering ways and more on substance. But after three-and-half years, nothing has been done to change that perception.

We the voters are not blameless. The complacency of the voters not to demand policy and engage the candidates on substantive issues results in the type of leadership class we have.

We must demand from our leaders’ to come out with their specific initiatives in addressing the myriad of problems – high cost of living, minimum wage, address the shortage of teachers and nurses, sewer overflows, etc – if we are to vote for a better representation in the coming 9th constitutional government fo the republic.

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