By: L.N. Reklai
(Koror, Palau) Senate Reapportionment Commission and its Chairman Haruo Esang were sued on Monday, for their decision to have one district and 13 senators as published in their report on June 29, 2016.
The suit filed by six individuals, Sabo Bultedaob, Johnny Tudong, Nestralda Mechaet, Meisai Chin, Kalistus Illuches and Salvador Tellames.
According to the suit, the 2016 Reapportionment Plan did not “reapportion” nor “redistrict” the Senate as required by Article IX, Section 4 (a) of the Constitution.
By not changing the current number of Senators or revising the single senatorial district, the Commission failed its mandate.
The suit requests the court to do the reapportionment itself and recommends that it creates 3 senatorial districts, 1) Kayangel and all Babeldaob States, 2) Koror State and 3) Peleliu, Angaur and Sonsorol and Hatohobei and increase the number of Senators to either 14 or 15.
Article IX of the Constitution requires that a Reappointment Commission be established every 8 years to review and publish a reapportionment plan for the Senate. The reapportionment plan dictate the number of Senators and number of senatorial districts.
This year, President Remengesau appointed 7 individuals with consent of the Senate to the 2016 Congressional Reapportionment Commission. The Commission published its 2016 Reapportionment Plan on June 29, 2016 [/restrict]