11 Dec 2012

Palau's President-elect cancels inauguration to focus on relief efforts

7:39 am on 11 December 2012

Palau President-elect Tommy Remengesau Junior, has decided to cancel all inauguration ceremonies, activities and festivities slated for January to focus resources on the disaster relief efforts.

Typhoon Bopha brushed Palau last week causing extensive damage and leaving hundreds homeless.

The law requires that the president-elect must be sworn in on the third Thursday of January after the elections.

But Mr Remengesau says he will just take his oath of office on January 17 and will put off inauguration ceremonies and festivities.

He says the people of Palau are suffering and all efforts and resources must be directed at helping the country recover from the major catastrophe.

He says there is no room at this time for celebration and rejoicing until the people of Palau can recover from this crisis together.

Transition Committee Chairperson Elbuchel Sadang says the inauguration celebrations would cost about 200,000 US dollars.

M Remengesau says whatever funds are raised for the inauguration from the private sector will be used to support in the relief efforts.