Regional News

Palau’s Koshiba slams ‘corrupt’ election

KOROR (Palau Horizon) - Sen. Joshua Koshiba and running mate Peleiliu Gov. Jackson Ngiraingas conceded defeat in the presidential primary election, saying they lost because their team was “underfunded.”

“We lost because we didn’t have money to pass around,” Koshiba said in an interview. “We did not have the money for airtime or for gas to give away. If the elections are going to be based on gifts and if they are about money, danger is the future of Palau.”

Staunch critics of President Tommy Remengesau, Koshiba and Ngiraingas finished last in the four-way race.

Over 700 absentee ballots have yet to be tabulated.

Koshiba said law enforcement is weak in Palau because corruption thrives even during the election campaign.

“We may have lost the elections, but me and my running

mate did not lose our principles. People will learn the hard way in the future,” Koshiba said.

He said although he will not be in public service anymore, he will continue the fight against corruption and will support the presidential candidate who will ensure a corruption-free government.

Koshiba thanked the voters who supported his team.

Vice President Elias Camsek, Chin who got the most number of votes, relayed his “deep appreciation to all the supporters of the Chin-Seid 2008 team.”

Although the final results of primary election will not be known until Sept. 30, when the absentee ballots are tabulated, Chin said he running mate  Sen. Alan Seid “want to express our most sincere gratitude to everyone for their believe, for their trust, for their efforts and for their prayers and their vote of confidence.”

They also want to thank all the voters and supporters of all the candidates for a peaceful election.

Chin is in New York attending the 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations on behalf of Remengesau.

Attorney Johnson Toribiong, finished second, said although the results may still change once the absentee votes are counted, he is thankful to the voters and candidates for ensuring a peaceful elections.

“Palau is in a critical stage due to the ever declining financial support from the United States and the high cost of living,” he said.

Based on the unofficial results, Chin-Seid garnered 2,335 votes; Toribiong-Mariur, 2,090; Whipps-Kuartei, 1,968; and Koshiba-Ngiraingas, 1,298.

 The top two tickets will be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.