Senator J.Uduch Sengebau Senior yesterday officially filed her candidacy for vice-president, making her one of the early hopefuls to officially submit her nominating petition in the upcoming November general elections.
Senator Senior is also the first woman since 2001 to put her name in the vice presidential race.
“I wanted to be early at this time, starting today there are 133 days left until the election, I want to explore what others want to do campaign,” Senior said in an interview.
According to her website, www.uduch.com, Sen. Senior is serving her second term as a Senator in the Tenth Olbiil Era Kelulau.
She is the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Culture and Traditions and a member of several Committees in the Senate. In the Ninth Olbiil Era Kelulau, she served as the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Affairs.
As a VP hopeful, Senior said she will work closely with the president but she has policies close to her heart that she wants to see implemented if she wins- one of those is shelter for women that are abused.
“As a VP, I am a minister in the president’s cabinet, and in the Constitution president may also assign other responsibility to the Vice President so although I have things I’d like to see,
I believe Shelter for women is very important, and we have not had that for many years. I am a strong advocate of the Family protection act , given that 1 of every 4 women face abuse in their lifetime here in Palau. I believe it’s important that shelter should be in place.,” she said in an interview.
She also would want to work on establishing a rehabilitation center for drug addicts and drug offenders.
She said throwing drug offenders in jail is not the solution in curbing drug offenses.
Ms. Senior said because of the long jail sentence for drug offenses, by the time the convict is out of jail, he can no longer take part in the society.
Sen. Senior is one of the few females in Palau’s Congress today.
In the 2013 elections, three female senators were elected into Congress and she was one of them.
In 2016, 13 female candidates from the total of 64 candidates participated in the national elections for Congress.
Out of the 13, six ran for the Senate seats and six for the House of delegate seats.
The 2016 election was historic for Palau in terms of women representation, Sen. Senior was one of the four women elected to Congress. The three others were Sen. RukebaiInabo, Delegate Victoria Kanai, and Delegate DilmaiSaiske. (B.Carreon)