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Push to scrap off-island voting in Palau critical to country’s future, says former president

KOROR (ABC/Pacnews) — A former president of Palau, Johnson Toribiong, is warning that unless there are changes to the voting system at the next election, there could be serious repercussions.

Toribiong said by continuing to allow expats who may have not set foot in the country for decades to vote, Palau runs the risk of handing over political control to people who don’t even live there.

One in four Palauan voters are required to add their names to a petition which is calling for the matter to be put to a referendum.

Analysts says the situation in Palau could easily be repeated in other small island Pacific states with large expat populations.