28th September, 2012
With slightly less than 8,000 voters – 7,946 to be exact – casting their vote in last Tuesday’s primary election, the race for the office of the president wasn’t even a close one with the final outcome of who will be the next president may have even been decided.
Sen. Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., who is vying for a new term, his third, as a president of Palau, is leading two other candidates with an insurmountable lead with 3,792 votes or winning 47.8% support from the voters so far.
President Toribiong won in only 4 states by plurality of votes. He won the Despedall states of Melekeok by 45% and Ngiwal-42%. He won Ngaremlengui by 45% of votes and Airai with 47.7%.
Both President Johnson Toribiong and Vice President Kerai Mariur finished second in their respective races; however, they are set to battle it out in the November 6 general election.
President Toribiong captured second place with 2,619 or 32.9%, which puts him behind Remengesau by 1,173 votes.
Sandra Sumang Pierantozzi finished last with 1,460 votes or 18.4% of the voters who cast their votes. With 2,220 absentee votes sent out, she is so far behind to make up ground for the top two places.
After losing Ngermid, the first precinct counted after the polls closed, Remengesau won every Koror Hamlet sans Meketii. He took the lead that he never lost right after the second precinct of Ngerkesowaol was tabulated.
Remengesau finished Koror with 1,174, which was 398 votes ahead of Toribiong who was in second place.
Remengesau carried 8 states by over 50 percent. Kayangel-52%; Ngarchelong-51%; Ngaraard-62%; Ngatpang-57%; Aimeliik-51%; Peleliu-54%; Angaur-63%, and Sonsorol-60.1 %. He was the only candidate to win any state by over 50 percent of the votes.
The race for the office of the vice president was close throughout. Former delegate and speaker of the house Antonio Bells and Vice President Kerai Mariur are bound to go head-to-head in November 6.
Bells leads the three other vice presidential candidates with 2,520 votes or 31.7 percent.
Vice President Kerai Mariur finished in second place with exactly 100 votes behind Bells.
Minister of Health Dr. Stevenson Kuartei, received 2,034 votes and Minister Jackson Ngiraingas earn the support of 848 voters.
Bells stronghold was Ngaraard where he lead with 339 or 54.6% of the votes. Bells also won in Koror, Ngiwal, Ngardmau, Angaur, Sonsorol, and Hatohobei.
Mariur won in Ngarchelong wth 54.3 percent of the vote. He also won in Kayangel, Melekeok, Ngarmelngui, and Airai.
Kuartei lead in three states including Ngchesar, Ngatpang, and Aimelik.
Ngiraingas won only in his home state of Peleliu.
Overall, there were 7,946 voters who went to the polls. Tabulation will continue with absentee ballots on October 3, including the votes in Sonsorol and Hatohobeiproper.
[Tia Belau http://tiabelaunewspaper.com/?p=421]