ARTICLE XIII. GENERAL PROVISIONS
The Palauan traditional languages shall be the national languages. Palauan and English shall be the official languages. The Olbiil Era Kelulau shall determine the appropriate use of each language.
The Palauan and English versions of this Constitution shall be equally authoritative; in case of conflict, the English version shall prevail.
Citizens may enact or repeal national laws, except appropriations, by initiative. An initiative petition shall contain the text of the proposed law or the law sought to be repealed and be signed by not less than ten percent (10%) of the registered voters. An initiative petition shall take effect if approved at the next general election by a majority of the persons voting on the initiative. A law enacted by initiative or a repeal of a law by initiative may not be vetoed by the President. A law enacted or repealed by initiative may be subsequently amended, repealed or reenacted only by another initiative pursuant to the provisions of this section.
No state may secede from Palau.
An area which was historically or geographically part of Palau may be admitted as a new state upon the approval of the Olbiil Era Kelulau and not less than three-fourths (3/4) of the states.
Harmful substances such as nuclear, chemical gas, or biological weapons intended for use in warfare, nuclear power plants, and waste materials therefrom, shall not be used, tested, stored or disposed of within the territorial jurisdiction of Palau without the express approval of not less than three-fourths (3/4) of the votes cast in a referendum submitted on this specific question.
The national government shall have the power to take property for public use upon payment of just compensation. The state government shall have the power to take private property for public use upon payment of just compensation. No property shall be taken by the national government without prior consultation with the government of the state in which the property is located. This power shall not be used for the benefit of a foreign entity. This power shall be used sparingly and only as final resort after all means of good faith negotiation with the land owner have been exhausted.
Only citizens of Palau and corporations wholly owned by citizens of Palau may acquire title to land or waters in Palau.
No tax shall be imposed on land.
The national government shall, within five (5) years of the effective date of this Constitution, provide for the return to the original owners or their heirs of any land which became part of the public lands as a result of the acquisition by previous occupying powers or their nationals through force, coercion, fraud, or without just compensation or adequate consideration.
The provisional capital shall be located in Koror; provided, that not later than ten (10) years after the effective date of this Constitution, the Olbiil Era Kelulau shall designate place in Babeldaob to be the permanent capital.
The national government shall have exclusive power to regulate importation of firearms and ammunition. No persons except armed forces personnel lawfully in Palau and law enforcement officers acting in an official capacity shall have the right to possess firearms or ammunition unless authorized by legislation which is approved in a nationwide referendum by a majority of the votes cast on the issue.
Subject to Section 12, the Olbiil Era Kelulau shall enact laws within one hundred an eighty (180) days after the effective date of this Constitution:
- providing for the purchase, confiscation and disposal of all firearms in Palau;
- establishing a mandatory minimum imprisonment of fifteen (15) years for violation of any law regarding importation, possession, use or manufacture of firearms.
To avoid inconsistencies found prior to this amendment by the Supreme Court of Palau to exist between Section 324 of the Compact of Free Association and its subsidiary agreements with the United States of America and other sections of the Constitution of the Republic of Palau, Article XIII, Section 6 of the Constitution and the final phrase of Article II, Section 3, reading “provided, that any such agreement which authorizes, testing, storage or disposal of nuclear, toxic chemical, gas or biological weapons intended for use in warfare shall require approval of not less than three-fourths (3/4) of the votes cast in such referendum,” shall not apply to votes to approve the Compact of Free Association and its subsidiary agreements (as previously agreed to and signed by the parties or as they may hereafter be amended, so long as such amendments are not themselves inconsistent with the Constitution) or during the terms of such Compact and agreements. However, Article XIII Section 6 and the final phrase of Article II Section 3 of the Constitution shall continue to apply and remain in full force and effect for all other purposes, and this amendment shall remain in effect only as long as such inconsistencies continue.
This amendment shall enter into force and effect immediately upon its adoption.