KOROR(PACIFIC NOTE) — Palau, in a ceremony budgeted at $200,000 with national procurement laws waived, will welcome a new government at an elaborate ceremony January 19 at the National Capitol in Melekeok.
President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. will be sworn in as the 7th elected president of Palau, and Sen. Raynold Oilouch will be sworn in as Vice President along with 29 members of the incoming 10th Palau National Congress.
The executive branch’s inauguration and arrangement committee is preparing for the event, scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.
Members of the Senate concerned for the cost and the waiver of procurement laws earlier questioned the “expensive” inauguration funding. Remengesau originally requested a $250,000 funding.
The president defended the funding amount saying that part of the funding could be considered as local stimulus for Peleliu and other states in Babeldaob where a tour will be conducted as part of the inauguration activities. One activity of the event is to take guests to a tour Peleliu, a state that is renowned for its World War II history.
Remengesu also said the funding is an opportunity to give a face-lift around the island, which would also help rid breeding ground for dengue and zika carrier mosquito.
Remengesau also said that Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) President Peter Christian and Republic of the Marshall Island (RMI) President Hilda Heine are among the 43 foreign guests confirmed to attend the inaugural rites.
In 2012, Remengesau Jr. opted for a low-key inauguration to focus on disaster relief from Typhoon Bopha… PACNEWS [/restrict]