Johnson Toribiong

Johnson Toribiong
Johnson Toribiong.jpg
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 (age 75)
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, and left office in 2013.[2] Before 2020 elections, Toribiong has run for president four times - in 1992, 1996, 2008 and 2012.[3]

Background and earlier career

Toribiong was born in Airai, one of the states of Palau. He attended the College of Guam, 1965–66, and holds a Juris Doctor degree (1972) and a Master of Laws (1973) degree from the University of Washington School of Law.[4][5] His LL.M. thesis was entitled, "Oil Pollution by Ships and Micronesia: A Survey of Maritime Jurisdiction and Applicable Laws."[6]

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.[7]

President of Palau

Toribiong was a candidate for President of Palau during the November 2008 presidential election.[8] His running mate for Vice President was Kerai Mariur, a Delegate in the Palau National Congress.[8] Toribiong was opposed by Elias Camsek Chin, the outgoing Palauan Vice President.[8]

Toribiong led the early, unofficial vote tally with 1,629 votes to Chin's 1,499.[8] The lead ultimately held and Toribiong defeated Chin in the election.

Toribiong was sworn into office as President of Palau on January 15, 2009.[9]

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.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "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. ^ "Four candidates seek the presidency in Palau elections in 2020". January 19, 2020.
  4. ^ "Alumni in the News". Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  5. ^ Miho, David (2008-11-07). "Toribiong Says Palau Must End Its Dependence On U.S. Aid". Pacific Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-20.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Hassall, Graham; Saunders, Cheryl (2002), Asia-Pacific constitutional systems, Cambridge University Press, p. 93, ISBN 978-0-521-59129-4
  7. ^ a b c d Miho, David (2008-11-05). "Toribiong Has The Lead In Palau Presidential Vote". Pacific Magazine. Retrieved 2008-11-04.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Secretary Salazar Meets with Palau President Toribiong March 12, 2009". United States Department of the Interior. 2009-03-12. Archived from the original on April 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-21.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Tommy Remengesau
President of Palau
Succeeded by
Tommy Remengesau