Palauans are awaiting the results of Tuesday’s elections that will shape Palau’s recovery from coronavirus-triggered economic slump, as well as its renewed relationship with the United States.
In the presidential race, prelimimary results from five precincts as of 2 a.m. showed Sen. Surangel Whipps Jr., leading over Vice President Raynold Oilouch by a small margin. Whipps received 1,169 votes against Oilouch's 1,063.
The two are vying to succeed Tommy Remengesau, whose second term expires this year. The new president will take over the nation’s pending initiatives such as the renegotiation of the expiring terms of the Compact of Free Association as well as Palau’s offer to accommodate more military presence within its jurisdiction.
For the vice presidential race, J. Uduch Sengebau Senior garnered 111, ahead of Frank Kyota who received 1,080.
Palauans also cast their votes for senators and members of the House of Delegates. Palau has no political parties, and all candidates are running as independents.