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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Incoming Palau President Cancels Inauguration Celebrations
Remengesau wants to focus on disaster relief after typhoon

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Dec. 7, 2012) – Palau President-elect Tommy Remengesau Jr., with the blessing and concurrence of the traditional chiefs and governors of the states, decided to put off all inauguration ceremony, activities and festivities slated in January to focus resources to the disaster relief efforts.

The law requires that the president-elect must have the swearing in on the third Thursday of January after the elections at 11 am.

Remengesau said he will just take his oath of office on January 17 and will put off inauguration ceremony and festivities.

"Our people are suffering today and all efforts and resources must be directed at helping our people and our nation to recover from this major catastrophe. There is no room at this time for celebration and rejoicing until the people of Palau can overcome our struggle and we all shall recover from this crisis together," Remengesau said.

Transition Committee Chairperson Elbuchel Sadang said that inauguration ceremony and celebrations would cost about $200,000.

Remengesau said that earlier plan was to solicit funds from the private sector for the inauguration. The president-elect said that whatever amount that will be raised supposedly for the inauguration will be used to support in the relief efforts.

During inauguration, friends of Palau are usually invited to witness the ceremony. Remengesau said he will just invite friends of Palau during the Independence celebration in October.

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