6 May 2003

Kiribati readies for second election in five months

4:24 pm on 6 May 2003

Kiribati goes to the polls this Friday, after the weeks old administration of Teburoro Tito collapsed in March.

President Tito was ousted when his Government lost a Budget vote 19 to 21.

Ross Terubea of Radio Kiribati says all the candidates who contested the election in December last year are standing again.

He says the Opposition has continued to campaign on issues it raised during the Budget debate.

This includes the costly lease of an aircraft from a French company, and what the Government has called "ex gratia" payments to unionists involved in a strike action more than 20 years ago.

Mr Terubea says the Government says it should be re-elected because in three terms it has improved the living standards of I-Kiribati.

He says the Government has already nominated Dr Harry Tong as its Presidential candidate, but the Opposition camp is waiting until after the general election.