Elmis Ruluked leads the run off election for the Office of Governor of Kayangel State by 4 votes ahead of Richard Ngiraked, according to unofficial results released by the Palau Election Commission. The final count of the 33 absentee ballots received will be this week.
The election for the Governor of Kayangel State during its 17th General Election has been very tight, with narrow margin of 8 votes between the two top contenders, Elmis Ruluked and Richard Ngiraked. With none of the contenders receiving majority of the votes casts in accordance with Kayangel State Constitution, the runoff election between the top two vote-getters was held last Friday.
Whoever wins the simple majority this time, will be the next governor of Kayangel State government. “It is very hard to predict who will win,” says one of the citizens of Kayangel State wishing not to be identified. “It is too close and it is the same people voting.”
Given the increasingly smaller populations of the 16 States of Palau, the narrow margins in the elections are very common. Furthermore, in close knit communities, it becomes increasingly difficult to vote freely as small number of people makes counting of votes nearly predictable.