Palau 1981 Constitution (reviewed 1992)


Section 1

The President shall be the Chief Executive of the national government.

Section 2

The Vice President shall serve as a member of the cabinet and have such other responsibilities as may be assigned by the President.

Section 3

Any citizen of Palau who is not less than thirty-five (35) years of age and has been a resident of Palau for the five (5) years immediately preceding the election shall be eligible to hold the office of President or Vice President.

Section 4

The President and Vice President shall be elected in a nationwide election for a term of four years. A person may not serve as President for more than two consecutive terms.

Section 5

The cabinet shall consist of the heads of the major executive departments created by law. The cabinet members shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate and shall serve at the will of the President. No person may serve in a legislature and the cabinet at the same time.

Section 6

A Council of Chiefs composed of a traditional chief from each of the states shall advise the President on matters concerning traditional laws, customs and their relationship to this Constitution and the laws of Palau. No person shall be a member of the Council of Chiefs unless he has been appointed and accepted as a chief in a traditional manner, and is recognized as such by the traditional council of chiefs of his state. No chief shall serve in the Council of Chiefs while serving as a member of the Olbiil Era Kelulau or the cabinet.

Section 7

The President shall have all the inherent powers and duties of a national chief executive, including, but not limited to the following:

  1. to enforce the law of the land;
  2. to conduct negotiations with foreign nations and to make treaties with the advice and consent of the Olbiil Era Kelulau;
  3. to appoint ambassadors and other national officers with the advice and consent of the Senate;
  4. to appoint judges from a list of nominees submitted to him by the Judicial Nominating Commission;
  5. to grant pardons, commutations and reprieves subject to procedures prescribed by law and to suspend and remit fines and forfeitures, provided this power shall not extend to impeachment;
  6. to spend money pursuant to appropriations and to collect taxes;
  7. to represent the national government in all legal actions; and
  8. to propose an annual budget.

Section 8

The compensation of the President and Vice President shall be established by law.

Section 9

The President or Vice President may be impeached and removed from office for treason, bribery, or other serious crimes by a vote of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the members of each house of the Olbiil Era Kelulau.

Section 10

The President or Vice President may be removed from office by a recall. A recall is initiated by a resolution adopted by not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the state legislatures in not less than three-fourths (3/4) of the states. Upon receipt by the presiding officers of the Olbiil Era Kelulau of the required number of certified resolutions, the Olbiil Era Kelulau shall establish a special election board to supervise a nationwide recall referendum to be held not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days, after receipt of the required number of certified resolutions.

Section 11

The Vice President shall succeed to the office of President if it becomes vacant. If the vacancy occurs due to death, resignation or disability and more than one hundred and eighty (180) days remain in the term, a national election for the offices of the President and Vice President for the remaining term shall be held within two months of such vacancy. In the event that the offices of both the President and the Vice President become vacant, the order of succession to the presidency shall be as follows: presiding officer of the Senate, presiding officer of the House of Delegates, and then as provided by law.

Section 12

The President may introduce legislative measures in the Olbiil Era Kelulau.

Section 13

The President shall make an annual report to the Olbiil Era Kelulau on the progress of his administration.

Section 14

Whenever war, external aggression, civil rebellion or natural catastrophe threatens the lives or property of a significant number of people in Palau, the President may declare a state of emergency and temporarily assume such legislative powers as may be necessary to afford immediate and specific relief to those lives or property so threatened. At the time of the declaration of a state of emergency, the President shall call a meeting of the Olbiil Era Kelulau to confirm or disapprove the state of emergency. The President shall not exercise emergency powers for a period of more than ten (10) days without the express and continuing consent of the Olbiil Era Kelulau.