Palau Presidential Family Fight Goes To The Wire

Palau presidential family fight goes to the wire

KOROR, Palau, Nov 3, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 03rd Nov, 2016 ) - Palau's election -- pitting President Tommy Remengesau against his brother-in-law Surangel Whipps -- will be decided by postal votes after results released Thursday gave the incumbent a wafer-thin lead of just 78. The official tally after all the votes cast Tuesday at ballot boxes in the tiny Pacific nation were counted puts Remengesau on 4,108 and Whipps 4,030. It leaves the election on a knife edge, with 2,900 absentee ballots not due to be counted until next Tuesday.

Whipps is married to Remengesau's sister but has not let family ties constrain his campaign as he seeks to end his rival's 12 years in office. The challenger has campaigned on a platform of change, pointing to social problems in the nation of 22,000, which lies about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) east of the Philippines. Remengesau has argued for stability, saying his policies have helped the economy and boosted tourism to the world-renowned diving destination.