President Surangel Whipps Jr. is requesting an appropriation of over $100,000  to cover the costs of the operation of the Palau Election Commission ( PEC), including the conduct of a special election to fill the vacancy in the Senate.

In his request for appropriation in early June, President Whipps said the PEC needs $104,000 for its operation and special election conduct in July.

A  Senate resolution has earlier declared a vacancy in the Senate after the passing of Sen. Jonathan Isechal.

The vacancy opened a Senate seat that can be filled with a special election which can be held not later than 60 days but no earlier than 30 days following the passage of the resolution.

The special election is scheduled on July 11.

Isechal passed away on  May 5th, 2023; a seasoned congressman with 12 years (3 terms) as a Delegate of Peleliu State, he chaired the powerful Ways & Means Committee in the House of Delegates. In 2020, Senator Jonathan β€œCio” Isechal was elected to the Senate and served until he passed as the Chairman of the Judicial and Government Affairs Committee in the Senate.

In December last year, a special election was held after the passing of Senator Regis Akitaya.

Sen. Salvador Tellames won that special election.

Olbiil Era Kelulau requested Aimeliik State Government to reschedule its Constitutional Convention election for the same day as the national election seeking a replacement for the late Senator Isechal.

With this Aimeliik State government said it can’t accommodate the request of OEK to move its scheduled referendum from July 18 to July 11 to coincide with the Senate special election.

The Aimeliik State government, through Speaker Lucio Obakerbau, said moving the referendum will “jeopardize the integrity of the Concon process.”

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