16 May 2003

Former ruling party in line to retain power in Kiribati

5:22 am on 16 May 2003

There are indications that the party of Kiribati's outgoing President Teburoro Tito will retain power after last Friday's general election.

All seats have now been declared and Mr Tito's party has won at least 18, while the Opposition has 13 and appears to have lost some backing since the poll in December.

The news editor of Radio Kiribati, Ross Terubea, says that of the 9 new MPs elected to the 42 member Parliament, most are likely to join Mr Tito's party, giving it a clear majority.

The party will put forward Dr Harry Tong when nominations for the Presidency are tabled at the first parliamentary session in early June.

The Opposition has not indicated yet who it will nominate.