Monday June 1st, 2020 marks the 39 years Palau has had elected Presidents. President’s Day celebrates the Presidents that have lead this country in its journey of independence under a constitutional government.
One of the activities to celebrate this day will be the unveiling of the portraits of all the Presidents painted by late Dave Ngirailemesang, the talented young Palauan artist whose tragic passing early this year was felt by the whole community.
President’s Day honor the 8 elected presidents that held the helm of this country. Of the eight (8) presidents, five (5) are now deceased. Two died while in office, the first President Haruo Remeliik and second President Lazarus Salii. In between Remeliik and Salii, Thomas Remengesau Sr. and Alfonso Oiterong, each served as Presidents before Palau elected its next President.
President Haruo Remeliik served 4 years 119 days before he was assassinated. President Lazarus Salii served 2 years and 299 days before his untimely death on August 1988. Thomas Remengesau Sr. served as President both after the death of President Haruo Remeliik and after the death of President Lazarus Salii.
President Ngiratkel Etpison took office as President on January 1989 and served his full term of four years.
After President Etpison, President Kuniwo Nakamura took office in 1993 and was re-elected to second term after serving the first four-year term. He became the first president to serve two consecutive terms or serve 8 years as President of the Republic.
Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., son of the former President Thomas Remengesau Sr., served as Vice President with President Kuniwo Nakamura, took office as President in 2001 and served for two terms, finishing 8 years in office in 2009.
He came back to run for the Office of the President in 2012 and won and is currently serving the second term of his second term as President of the Republic of Palau, setting a history of being the first President to serve nearly 16 years as President out of the 39 years that Palau has had elected presidents.
In 2009 President Johnson Toribiong took office as president and served the full four years of his term ending 2012. He is currently running again this 2020 General Election for the Office of the President.
Presidents of Palau, past and present that are still alive are former President Kuniwo Nakamura, former President Johnson Toribiong and President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr.
This President’s Day, June 1, 2020, number of activities are organized to celebrate the past and present leaders of this country that has led it through its first 39 years under constitutional government. (By: L.N. Reklai)