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Press Release SPR 10-23
July 12, 2017
Senate 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau – Statement from the President
For Immediate Release


Senate Joint Resolution No. 10-11 : Urging His Excellency Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President of the Republic of Palau to establish a Trade Agreement with the People’s Republic of China was introduced on May 25, 2015 by Senate President Hokkons Baules. The resolution’s legislative findings state that “In order for the Republic of Palau to advance and develop its economy, all avenues should be explored to facilitate a sustainable economic future for the Republic.” Options that include the consideration of a trade agreement with the People’s Republic of China should be considered. A similar Senate Joint Resolution No. 10-12 was introduced on the same day by Senator Regis Akitaya and Camsek Elias Chin and awaits committee consideration.

As recently reported in the media, Senate Joint Resolution 10-11 was placed on the Agenda of the fifth day of the Third Special Session on July 5, 2017 with an accompanying Standing Committee Report No. 10-45 submitted by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and State Matters Chaired by Senator Aric Nakamura. Following discussions on the floor, the Committee Report was adopted while SJR 10-11 did not receive enough votes for adoption.

A report on the Island Times newspaper attributes the same day announcement by the Senate President to remove Senator Reklai as Chairman of the Committee on Tourism and Development Committee to his “no” vote on SJR 10-11. Without confirming other possible reasons, the writer reports this as the sole purpose for removal and reports it as uncontested truth when it is not. On record, Senator Reklai expressed support for efforts to explore trade and other agreements between the People’s Republic of China and Palau in statements made during the Fourth Day of the Third Special Session, contrary to his dissenting vote made later on the resolution. The article further quotes President Baules on a response he purportedly made. This comment is erroneous and lends neither veracity to the statement nor credibility to its undisclosed source, all in the name of “reliable news reporting”. One may surmise you can create so called news as you please or cry wolf in the name of the same if you were the publisher.

The President of the Senate made an announcement for the removal of Senator Reklai as Chairman of the Tourism and Development Committee and as a member of the Foreign Affairs and State Matters Committee, stating as well that appropriate resolutions to conform to any requirements outlined in the Rules of Procedures of the Senate 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau will be forthcoming in this Third Regular Session of the Senate. This is fact.

Each Senator of the Olbiil Era Kelulau has the privilege to influence and to persuade other members to vote one way or another or to be convinced to take a particular view on any given issue. This actually brings out the passion in healthy debate and heated discussions on any given issue that eventually result in a stated position of the institution of congress. Senator Reklai, as with any other Senator may continue to participate in these debates at his discretion, relying on tactful persuasion and political finesse or continue to engage in these floor debates of congress in the pages of his Island Times newspaper.

The Leadership of the Senate of the 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau does not share the most recently published opinion that the electorate should be alarmed when the Executive Branch and both Houses of the Olbiil Era Kelulau are mindful that cooperation and compromise is key to its deliberations and the resolve of decisions that best serve the electorate. It will continue to perform its work in the interest of the public, less the dramatic flair of impulsive bickering.