By: Olkeriil Eoghan Ngirudelsang
To date, there are five individuals vying for the seat of Koror state governor this coming election. They are namely: Alan Marbou, Eyos Rudimech, Jennifer Sugiyama, Yositaka adachi and incumbent Franco Gibbons who is said to be seeking re-election. Excluding current governor Gibbons, all candidates has come out on radios and TV stations officially declaring the launch of their candidacy.
The start the of the campaign was initiated by current legislator Jennifer Sugiyama who first announced her intentions to run for governor back in January fourth this year. During her first appearance as a gubernatorial candidate on MBTV TV and radio, Sugiyama said that “Koror state’s revenues through tourism are down by more than 50 percent”. She stressed the need for the state to work through Public private partnership. An example she shared is the long-time plan of locals and investors wanting to build a five start Hilton hotel in Koror in exchange for a submerged lease and the construction of sidewalks and the building of a bridge connecting former happy landing area with PICRC. She is a first term legislator is involved with many public initiatives including the creation of the Koror elementary school students’ pick-up and drop-off area.
The second announcement was made by former governor Yositaka Adachi. Choosing his father’s birthday February 12 to officially declare his intentions to run again for governor, he is the candidate who has had the most public appearances in local TV and radio stations. “I believe Koror state government is a government of equal opportunities” he stated. Through his many media exposure, he has made known many off his plans including the need to strengthen youth programs through Koror state youth council and the possibility of designating some mangrove areas to create more lease for citizens. Adachi is a former Koror state legislature speaker who later spent 12 years as governor.
Eyos Rudimech was the third to make his declaration. He made his intentions public on February 26 this year in the well-known weekly Udesuall radio program. He later made another official declaration on MBTV TV station. While he has not intensively discussed his full plans as governor, he stated in Udesuall program that “most of our platform that we campaign for during the last election four years ago still needs to be implemented” He further discussed the great need to build a reef road to accommodate current traffic issues in the state. He is a former legislator who spent 16 years in the legislature 8 of which he was the speaker.
In April 14th this year, Alan Marbou became the fourth person announce his plan to run for governor. His declaration was made at Palau wave radio station. To date, Marbou’s only public appearance in a local media station was when he did his gubernatorial candidacy declaration. His plans for the state and the policies he will put forth if elected as governor are still to be made public. Marbou is a first term Koror state legislator who is the current speaker and had ran for Koror state governor’s office before.
As the election date nears, sources close to governor Gibbons say that he will be seeking re-election. However, he is still yet to make public his official re-election declaration as well as his plans for Koror state moving forward in the next four years.
While Koror state election is expected to take place in November this year, the legislature has introduced a bill for an act to create a run-off election to take place 90 days before the November election.