Johnson Toribiong

Johnson Toribiong
8th President of Palau
In office
15 January 2009  17 January 2013
Vice President Kerai Mariur
Preceded by Tommy Remengesau
Succeeded by Tommy Remengesau
Personal details
Born (1946-07-22) 22 July 1946
Airai, South Pacific Mandate
(now Palau)
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Valeria Toribiong
Alma mater University of Washington, Seattle

Johnson Toribiong (born 22 July 1946) is a Palauan attorney and politician.[1] Toribiong became the President of Palau, following his victory in the November 2008 election. The electorate rejected him in the November 2012 election[2]

Background and earlier career

Toribiong was born in Airai, one of the states of Palau. He holds a Juris Doctor degree (1972) and a Master of Laws (1973) degree from the University of Washington School of Law.[3][4]

He served as ambassador of Palau to the Republic of China (Taiwan) from 2001 to 2008.

He ran for president in the 1992 elections; he attracted 3,188 votes, versus 2,084 for one-term incumbent Ngiratkel Etpison and 3,125 for rival Kuniwo Nakamura; however, as no candidate attracted more than 50% of the vote, Nakamura and Toribiong went on to a runoff election, in which Toribiong was defeated.[5]

President of Palau

Toribiong was a candidate for President of Palau during the November 2008 presidential election.[6] His running mate for Vice President was Kerai Mariur, a Delegate in the Palau National Congress.[6] Toribiong was opposed by Elias Camsek Chin, the outgoing Palauan Vice President.[6]

Toribiong led the early, unofficial vote tally with 1,629 votes to Chin's 1,499.[6] The lead ultimately held and Toribiong defeated Chin in the election.

Toribiong was sworn into office as President of Palau on January 15, 2009.[7]

President Toribiong and his wife, First Lady Valeria Toribiong (both center), at his inauguration on 15 January 2009.


  1. Miho, David (2008-11-07). "Johnson Toribiong Wins Palau Presidential Race". Pacific Magazine. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
  2. and he left office on 17 January 2013. "The voters of Palau reject incumbent President". Radio Australia. 2012-11-08. Archived from the original on 2012-11-15. Retrieved 2012-11-15. While Barack Obama may have won a second term in the White House, there's no such joy in the former US territory of Palau, where voters have thrown out the incumbent President, Johnson Toribiong.
  3. "Alumni in the News". Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  4. Miho, David (2008-11-07). "Toribiong Says Palau Must End Its Dependence On U.S. Aid". Pacific Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  5. Hassall, Graham; Saunders, Cheryl (2002), Asia-Pacific constitutional systems, Cambridge University Press, p. 93, ISBN 978-0-521-59129-4
  6. 1 2 3 4 Miho, David (2008-11-05). "Toribiong Has The Lead In Palau Presidential Vote". Pacific Magazine. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  7. "Secretary Salazar Meets with Palau President Toribiong March 12, 2009". United States Department of the Interior. 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
Political offices
Preceded by
Tommy Remengesau
President of Palau
Succeeded by
Tommy Remengesau

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