By: L.N. Reklai
September 15, 2016 (Koror) The first Vice Presidential debate proceeded even when only one out of three candidates showed up for the debate last night at the Palau Community College Assembly Hall.
Vice Presidential candidate Arnold Oilouch maximized on the opportunity presented by the Palau Media Council and Palau Community College to express himself to Palau voters locally and internationally last night when two other candidates did not show up for the debate.[restrict]
Five questions were asked. The questions revolved around the importance and the role of the office of the Vice President.
Answering the question, “If you believe that the role or the responsibility of being a Vice President is only to serve at the will of the President, then why do you want to take on the responsibility?”, candidate Arnold Oilouch stated that he believed the role of the Vice President is more important than just ministerial role.
“I compare the role of the Vice President to that of the outrigger canoe. You have the main canoe with the small hull next to it. It may be smaller but it helps to balance and keep the canoe from capsizing easily and to stay on course. I see the role of the Vice President as helping the President to improve the overall well-being of the country but also keeping to the course, helping to ensure that services are delivered and that the overall well-being of the country is taken care of,” responded Oilouch.
Oilouch further responded that “One of the three responsibilities of a Vice President according to our Constitution is step into the shoes of the President in case of sudden demise or inability of the President to continue his duties, and maintain the country until the election takes place. This is a very important responsibility of a Vice President that should not be taken lightly.”
The event was aimed at offering Palauan voters an opportunity to get to know their vice presidential candidates better and to make informed decisions come primary election on September 27th. According to Palau Media Council Vice Chairman, Salvador Tellames, efforts to get all the candidates to participate were made. Candidate Mlib Tmetuchel’s Committee sent their representative to inform PMC and PCC that their candidate will not be participating. Representative of candidate Yositaka Adachi met with PMC and PCC with list of conditions that need to be met if candidate Adachi is to participate. Conditions were that all candidates have to agree to join the debate, the committee will be involved in the formulation of questions for the debate, candidate will make the final address and MBTV alone film the event.
According to Tellames, a letter of response was sent to the candidates stating that the event will proceed and that they will be welcomed anytime.
Event was broadcasted live on Eco Paradise FM, streamed via online radio, and filmed by OTV and PMC cable televisions for later broadcast. [/restrict]