EC Administrator Simer referred overseas for medical attention

By: L.N. Reklai

October 17, 2016 (Koror) Election Commission received another letter from Senator Joel Toribiong questioning the appropriateness of appointing a Board member as Interim Administrator of Palau Election Commission today.

Last week, Election Services Administrator Maria Decherong-Simer was admitted to the national hospital for mild stroke and was restricted visitors by her doctors.  According to her husband, she has being referred for overseas medical attention.


Having lost all three (3) of its employees within two weeks time, Palau Election Commission appointed one of their Board members, Ms. Elenita Bennie Brell as interim administrator.

Senator Toribiong, in a letter to Elliot Udui, Vice Chairman of the Commission, questioned propriety of the action of the Board.

“I am particularly concerned that working as the Administrator while continuing to serve on the board of directors could create conflict of interest for Ms. Brel,” stated Toribiong in his letter.

Toribiong further recommended that it would be better if Election Commission hired someone outside of the Commission to do the work and leave the Board to do its responsibilities.

“Hiring one of its own members creates an appearance of impropriety..” he added.

Election Commission, having lost all of its employees, is faced with major challenges of administering its office as well as printing ballots, mailing, recruiting, and training volunteers to handle what is turning out to be a very challenging and contentious general election in the two weeks left before general election.

Senate yesterday approved the appointment of Benjamin Yobech to the Board of Palau Election Commission upon reconsideration yesterday.  Greg Decherong failed to garner the needed votes at the reconsideration and did not get reappointed to the Board of Palau Election Commission. [/restrict]