11 Nov 2016

Palau's Remengesau says election toughest battle ever

3:34 pm on 11 November 2016

The returning president of Palau Tommy Remengesau says the 2016 election race was the toughest he has run on both a political and personal level.

Palau's President Tommy Remengesau

Palau's President Tommy Remengesau Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

Mr Remengesau won another term in office by fewer than 300 votes in contest with his brother in law, Senator Surangel Whipps Jr.

Voters had to wait nine days for confirmation, while close to 3,000 absentee ballots from overseas were counted.

Mr Remengasau said while it was a bittersweet victory with a lot of healing and relationship mending to come he was focused on the job ahead.

"My vision for Palau was making sure that we have a sustainable future balancing growth development and protection of our environment and cultural assets, social assets. Based on quality and high-end tourism as well as the protection and maintenance of our number one blue asset the ocean and the environment."

Mr Remengesau was previously elected to a four-year term in November 2012, after already serving for eight years as president up to 2009.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs