Whipps Jr. and Oilouch

Presidential hopeful Raynold Oilouch yesterday conceded defeat to businessman Surangel Whipps Jr. after the tabulation of all votes in Palau on Wednesday night.
Whipps is ahead of Oilouch by 1,202 votes, with at least 2,000 absentee ballots still needing to be counted next week, but the sitting vice president considers the lead insurmountable .
“The election is over and the people have spoken. So, let me first congratulate President-elect Surangel Jr. and all those elected to lead our next government,’ he said.
He said “knowing the difference,” conceding to Whipps is the “right thing to do.”
Whipps got 4,640 out of the 8,212 votes cast in the presidential race. Oilouch, meanwhile secured 3,438 votes.
In thanking his supporters and family, Oilouch reflected on his time on the campaign trail.
“On behalf of my wife and family, I want to thank all the Palauan people who voted, and to especially thank those who voted for me and the many hardworking supporters who worked tirelessly throughout the campaign,” he said.
While the race did not end in his favor, Oilouch said he was proud of his campaign.
“We did the best we could but I guess God has other plans for us. Be proud of what we did. Finally, let’s continue to pray for our country as we sail together through this challenging time. God bless Palau and all the people of Palau,” Oilouch added in his statement.
Whipps ran on a campaign of change, promising better education and healthcare systems for the Palauans. He also supports a more conservative government spending especially in the time of the pandemic.
Whipps however vowed to support the business sector ’s recovery due to the tourism slump.
Oilouch meanwhile campaigned for stability and better housing for the people. He believed that cutting government spending would mean loss of livelihood for the people during a difficult time.
The 2020 election is considered historic with outgoing President Tommy Remengesau retiring to become a fisherman after serving two-terms which makes him ineligible to seek re-election.
Whipps ran and lost against Remengesau in 2016.
In a press conference on Wednesday President Remengesau said his departing administration will facilitate a smooth transition of power to the incoming president. ( B. Carreon)

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