13 Sep 2012

Three-way contest in Palau presidential election

1:58 pm on 13 September 2012

A Pacific development expert says a three-way contest in this year's presidential election in Palau will make it more interesting than usual.

The sitting president, Johnson Toribiong, is up against his predecessor and a current senator, Tommy Remengesau Junior, as well as a former vice president, Sandra Sumang Pierantozzi.

As vice president from 2001 to 2005, the first woman to be appointed to that role in Palau, Mrs Pierantozzi held the highest rank of office ever attained by a woman in the Pacific.

Dr Gerard Finin, who co-directs the Pacific Islands Development Programme at Hawaii's East-West Centre, says she is still popular.

"She was elected numerous times to various positions within Palau and has served as their Minister of State or Secretary of State as we call it, Minister of Foreign Affairs, essentially, and so I think she has some chance."

Dr Gerard Finin says the credentials of all three presidential candiates will make it a very interesting race to watch.