Contentions continue to trouble Palau Election Commission

Contentions continue to trouble Palau Election Commission

  28 Oct 2016

By: L.N. Reklai

October 27, 2016 (Koror) With only 5 days remaining until Election Day, there is no sign that things are going to be settling down around this general election.   Allegations of misconducts, letters of concerns and demands, court motions and court orders continue to pour in. [restrict]

Another blistering letter was issued this week from Senator Joel Toribiong to Elenita Brel, Temporary Administration of PEC expressing his “shock and disappointment” over the alleged misinformation given by a Elechang Ysaol at the Election Commission to a constituent in Guam that was wrongfully told to fill out a new request for absentee ballot for the general election.

In addition, Senator Toribiong also alleges in a letter that he received “confirmed” reports from Guam that people at campaign headquarters for Remengesau received their absentee ballots on the 20th of October when the report from PEC says that ballots were being mailed out on the 20th and 21st.

Toribiong also stated that he was “disturbed and appalled” that all three PEC Board members were off-island at the same time and that no Board member is on island to make policy decisions for Palau Election Commission.  Mr. Toribiong expressed his distrust in the upcoming election process.

No evidence is given for the allegations made by Toribiong but he stated that the reports from Guam were “confirmed” by observers.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Associate Justice of Palau Supreme Court issued an Order to Respond to the attorney of the plaintiffs Joel Toribiong, Richard Silmai, Ephraim Ngirachitei, Moses Yobech, Israel Demei and Richard Sandei, to Show Cause Why Sanctions Should Not Be Imposed on them or their attorney for filing renewed motion to compel compliance and not providing supporting evidence for their contentions.

Toribiong and the plaintiff above had earlier filed for TRO and preliminary injunction against PEC which was denied as moot by the Court on October 3, 2016.  They filed a renewed motion to compel compliance on October 17, 2016.

In their renewed motion they contend that plaintiff Joel Toribiong had gone to PEC to inspect voters affidavits on October 10 but his request was denied.  PEC responded on October 20, 2016 contending that all staffs were informed that Mr. Toribiong was going to inspect affidavits but no one came.  An affidavit of Mr. Udui attesting to the contention of PEC was provided to the court.

According to the order, a written motion containing allegations have been presented to the court without proper supporting evidence in violation of court rules and the Court ordered the plaintiffs to respond no later than Friday October 28, 2016, and show why they should not have sanctions imposed on them by the court. [/restrict]