Tue. Dec 10th, 2019

Court upholds Koror State law, rules in favor of PEC

By: L.N. Reklai

December 19, 2017 (Koror, Palau) Court ruled Koror State Law KSL-123-2001 Section 4 (B) to be valid and not in violation of Koror State Constitution, ruling in favor of Palau Election Commission and Franco Gibbons dismissing the case filed by Plaintiff Joshua Koshiba. [restrict]

A civil case was filed after the November 14th General Election of Koror State, challenging the validity of KSL-123-2001 that mandates a runoff between two highest vote getters in a gubernatorial race if none receive majority of the votes cast during the general election.

After the November 14th Koror State General Election, Eyos Rudimch received the highest number of votes followed closely by Franco Gibbons.  Neither of the candidates received majority of the total votes cast that day.

Complaint charged that Koror State Constitution calls for general election on November 14 of a governor and therefore, the highest vote getter on November 14th general election should be declared governor. The complaint stated that the Koror State law mandating a runoff after the general election is in conflict with the language of the Koror State Constitution.

Court did not agree with the plaintiff’s conclusion. Court said it agreed that the language of Article XIII, Section 3 of Koror State Constitution can be read to uphold the validity of KSL-123-2001, section 4(B) that provides for runoff election in gubernatorial election.

Court further ruled that Koror State Constitution is silent on the plurality and majority issue and the State law help specify that it is majority by calling for the runoff.

Precedent cases used in support of plaintiff’s argument were found to be inappropriate examples and did not address the issues raised by Koror State law.

The case was dismissed and all parties would be responsible for their own legal costs. [/restrict]