One of the six police officers given a choice to either remain as an officer or become a state legislator chose to become a legislator and submitted his resignation to the Bureau of Public Safety Director Ismael Aguon.
Mr. Billy Rekemel, a veteran police officer, had also served as an elected State Legislator of Peleliu State. Mr. Rekemel chose to resign from the force when he was given a choice to choose one or the other. Mr. Rekemel chose to run again for legislature at the 14th Peleliu General Election held last month. He was the second-highest vote-getter out of the 17 candidates for At-large seats.
During the installation ceremony of the Peleliu’s 14th Government on January 1st, the legislator-elects split into 2 groups after they were unable to reach a compromise.
The two factions could not agree on the rules to follow. It was reported that the Rekemel faction did not want to use the existing Rules of Procedure covering the organization of the legislature.
The Rules of Procedure require that the oldest female member-elect becomes a temporary speaker; after she becomes a temporary speaker, she would appoint one of the chiefs to serve as temporary floor leader before they start the business of appointing members of the credentials committee to verify credentials of each member-elect. This would have meant that former speaker Eufrasia Remeliik would be the temporary speaker.
After failing to agree on the Rules of Procedure, one faction left. Mr. Rekemel’s faction remained and inducted 2 new chiefs to create a quorum and organize themselves. According to reports, they were sworn into office by Justice Kathleen Salii, with Mr. Rekemel sworn in as the new Speaker of the 14th Peleliu State legislature. Members in this faction are Billy Rekemel as Speaker, Alex Ngiraingas as Vice Speaker, Umedib Rideb as Floor Leader, Legislator Charles Salii Rekemel, Legislator Godwin Sadao, Legislator Willard Smau and Legislator Joel Okada; the chiefs are Adelkeroi Kokichi-Ingas and Obakelchol Patros Basilio.
The other faction, according to a reliable source, will be filing a suit against the Rekemel faction. According to their Rules of Procedure, 5 (d) …”any chief whose credentials were accepted by the previous legislature and who was duly seated as a member of the previous Legislature and has not been removed from his seat, shall be deemed qualified to be a member and thus, automatically takes his seat as a member of the newly installed Legislature without being subjected to the scrutiny of the Credentials Committee.”
Chiefs seated in the last legislature are Obak Isao Singeo, Uchelsias Shallum Etpison, Obaklchol Peter Napoleon, Adelkeroi Postol Remeliik and Renguul Donald Haruo.
The organization and installation of the 14th Legislature started the same way the 13th Legislature did 3 years ago, with a split among the legislator-elects followed by a lawsuit. (By: L.N. Reklai)