Sign of the Senate's 40th Anniversary

Senate, the upper house of the Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK)celebrated its 40th year anniversarylast night at the Palasia Hotel.
The event, organized by the Senate, invited all former and current senators and representatives of those who had passed to mark the 40 years of service
In the span of forty(40) years, from 1981 to today, a total of seventy (70) individuals have served as Senators, many of them ran multiple times and won seats in differentOEKs. Out of the 70 individuals that have been Senators, twenty-seven(27) have passed away and forty-three (43) are still living.
Senate structure changed a number of times during the last forty (40) years with the Apportionment of Senate members changing (7) times. It went from having senators representing multiple districtsto a single district with specified number of senators elected over all.
The most number of senators in one term was eighteen (18) senators during the 1st OEK and the least was nine (9) senators in the 6th and 7th OEKs.
Dr. Minoru Ueki, 89 years old and the eldest living former Senatorwas present at the event and remarked that the 40 years have seen a lot. He said that during his time, even though they had different political parties and ideas, they worked together and listened to each other and therefore were able to achieve a lot. “I feel sad that today’s Senate is filled with young, smart and very well-educated members but they are not working together and are in constant conflict.”
Former Senator Haruo Esang, 83 years old, served in the 2nd and 3rd OEK. He commented on the politics of his time. “During my time, we were elected from the districts and I couldn’t become a Senate President because my colleagues from the larger districts were afraid they would lose votes if they made me president. I was the only one from my district,” he added.
Former Senate president SurangelWhipps Sr., 81 years old, said that period he was in OEK was difficult because by then, the Apportionment Committee had cut down the number of Senators to nine (9) representing all of Palau.
Senator Emeritus Joel Toribiong gave his view of the 40 years of Senate history. “In the 40 years, we have not been able to be on our own without the United States. We started out in our history, going through the furlough and asking United States government for financial bailout. Now, forty years later and we are still doing the same thing.”
Youngest Senator Aric Nakamura view the Senate with optimism. “We are following the direction set by those that came before us. And we should take this and continue to improve on it, keep our community calm and moving forward.”
The first woman senator, former Senator Sandra Pierantozzi gave the special remarks in commemoration of the Senate’s 40th Anniversary.
Former senator Joshua Koshiba holds the record as longest serving senator, serving as a senator since the first senate was formed in 1981. He served from the 1st to the 7th OEK, a total of 28 years.
Senate, the other half of Palau’s bicameral congress, have in addition to its legislative powers, authority to approve Presidential appointments ofthe head of ministries and boards of the national government.

Senator Emeritus Joel Toribiong, youngest Senator Aric Nakamura and Senator Frank Kyota (from right to left)
Former senators and representatives of senators that have passed away
Former Senator Harry Fritz and his wife

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