The trial court on June 6th issued a ruling in favor Peleliu Legislator Billy Rekemel and his party, granting their cross-motion for summary judgment that they are the majority members of the 14th Peleliu State Legislature and have the required quorum to conduct business.
Contesting the trial court ruling, Obakeldelolk Isao Singeo and the other half of the 14th Peleliu State Legislature membership say they will challenge the decision. They believe that the court did not look at all the issues and granted judgment only on partial information.
The issue of which of the two parties has the quorum to elect the officers of the 14th Peleliu State Legislature and conduct legislature business is the central point of the argument.
Legislator Billy Remekel and his party claim they have the majority with 7 elected members and two chiefs and were sworn in following a version of the Rules and Procedures of the 13th Peleliu State Legislature as Temporary Rules of Procedure. The court agreed with them and ruled in their favor.
Obakeldelolk Isao Singeo and his party claim that they have the majority with 5 chiefs and 3 elected members. The three chiefs were already seated members of the 13th Legislature and are automatic members of the 14th Legislature. They claim that the other party does not have the quorum because the two chiefs they claim as members have not gone through the process to take their seats.
“Legislature is the sole judge of its member. Even if the court has ruled that one of the chiefs has won his court case for the title, that person still has to pass the credentials committee to be seated in the legislature. There are precedent cases for this,” expressed chief Uchelsias Shallum Etpison. “They cannot just jump in and start voting on credentials of other members without having their credentials approved first,” he added.
The two chiefs Kokichi Ingas as Aderkeroi and Batros Basilio as Obakelchol have not gone through the process to have their credentials approved, according to the Obakeldelolk Isao Singeo and his party and the seven legislators do not have the quorum to approve their credentials.
The two chiefs Kokichi Ingas as Aderkeroi and Batros Basilio as Obakelchol were accepted as members of the 14th Peleliu Legislature by the seven elected members creating a majority and taking over the legislature on January 1, 2022. (By: L.N. Reklai)