8 Nov 2012

Former president poised to lead new Palau government

7:34 pm on 8 November 2012

A former president is poised to return to office to lead the Palau government for the next four years.

About 8 thousand of the country's 15-thousand registered voters came out to vote in the general elections and unofficial results have Tommy Remengesau eading the incumbent president Johnson Toribiong by 13-hundred votes.

Oceania TVs Rolynda Jonathan says there are still at least one thousand absentee votes to count but says Senator Remengesau is in a good position.

Ms Johnathan says the senator, who was president from 2000 to 2008, is popular for a variety of reasons.

"He's one of the presidents that a lot of people basically grew up with and he has a lot of relatives so in Palau voting really doesn't depend on the policies that you want to work with but sort of depends on the many people that you know."

Rolynda Jonathan says the race for vice-president is much closer, with Antonio Bells leading the incumbent Kerai Maruir by just 300 votes.

The absentee votes will be counted next Tuesday and official results announced the following week.