10 out of 15 members of Airai State Legislature (Olbiil era Ngerchumelbai) had asked Airai Governor Rengulbai Tmewang to voluntarily resign from his position as Governor in order to avoid being removed by a resolution, in a letter delivered to Governor Tmewang yesterday.
The letter signed by the members states, “we call on you to step down by May 26, 2021 so that the adoption of the subject resolution may be avoided.”
The Legislature, in gesture of respect, requests the Governor to voluntarily step down due to his disability, a result of a car accident he was involved in last November.
“While we have hope that your recovery would progress sufficiently to enable you to once again perform your executive duties, we believe that the needs of the State can no longer be deferred while waiting for this to occur. Accordingly, and with greatest reluctance and respect for your many years of dedicated public service to Airai State and our nation of Palau, we call on you to step down…, “stated the letter.
Governor Rengulbai Tmewang was in a car accident in November of 2020 where he sustained serious injuries. He was recovering and was released home but in January, court granted guardianship of his person and assets to his son due to his medical disability.
The statement from the Airai Legislature cited his medical condition, the court-ordered guardianship of his person and his letter delegating authority to oversee government operations as reasons for him to step down, saying all of these “give us very little confidence that this circumstance will improve at any time in the foreseeable future.”
The decision to have the popular and charismatic governor step down is not easy for many of the members of Ngerchumelbai.
One member of Ngerchumelbai said “People are calling us, asking us,’ Ya kemiu komekerang. And we all feel bad but a Beluu a cheloit.”
It takes 2/3 of the members of the Airai State Legislature to remove a governor through a resolution, and for a cause according to Airai State Constitution. One of those causes is disability due to medical reasons.
The Olbiil ra Ngerchumelbai says it hopes that he would take this opportunity offered which would be a dignified resolution to the matter and in line with the character of his “distinguished political career.”