By: L.N. Reklai
July 21, 2016 (Koror) Holder of the second highest office in the nation, Vice President and Minister of Justice Antonio Bells, declared his bid to the highest office, the Office of President, in a radio interview with Alfonso Diaz of WWFM Radio yesterday. [restrict]
Only weeks before the filing deadline, VP Bells announced his candidacy for the Office of the President, joining 3 other contenders, current President Remengesau, Senator Surangel Whipps Jr., and Senator Sandra Pierantozzi.
Vice President Bells noted among some of his reasons for running to this office, is to restore transparency and remove nepotism in the government.
VP Bells has been dealing with number of controversies within his Ministry. He had issues with former Attorney General Victoria Roe, current AG Bradley, BPS Director Aguon, and Interim Special Prosecutor Melissa Simms over the Tempest Wind Project investigation as well as prison incidents such as shootings, escapes and stabbings.
He was sued by the ISP for investigating his staff for alleged wrong doings. VP Bells had to obtain a private attorney to defend himself and later ISP Simms dropped the case with minimal explanations.
VP Bells was vilified by the Public Auditor’s report which confirmed his beliefs that the funds directed for Tempest Wind Exercise was not in compliance with existing laws.
OEK recently appropriated funds and President Remengesau signed into law, to reimburse VP Bells for legal expenses incurred. [/restrict]