President Tommy Remengesau has called the lawmakers to prioritize the piece of legislation that will put a limit on election campaign spending and penalize vote buying. [restrict]
During his January 3 press conference, Remengesau urged members of the Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK) to support Senate Bill 10-101 he introduced November 2017, to ensure a “transparent and open election process for future generations of Palauan voters.”
The bill is assigned to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and Senator Mark Rudimch chair of the committee said, “all bills are due to be worked on – we are trying to process them all according to urgency.”
The bill proposes a campaign spending for candidates which sill not to exceed $500,000 and seeks penalties for individuals who will bribe or attempt, intimidate or threaten a voter.
Bribery the bill can be through loans, forgiveness of financial agreement, gift, or other rendering of money, property, service, or anything else of value tangible or intangible.
A government employee is also prohibited from using his or her position to solicit votes by assisting or obstructing any individual from getting employment, confirmation or promotion in exchange of the individual’s vote.
Any foreign national directly or through any other person are prohibited from making contribution in connection with the election to any national or state elective office
The bill also limits an individual’s total contribution to a candidate not to exceed $1,000.
“Wealth should not be a determining factor in a success of a candidate. These amendments are, accordingly, also designed to preclude the elite from dictating election results. By capping contribution amounts, we will ensure that candidates are chosen based on merit, not how much money is funneled into their campaign accounts, “ Remenegsau stated in his transmittal letter. (By: Bernadette Carreon) [/restrict]