22 Oct 2011

First round of Kiribati parliamentary elections concludes

11:07 pm on 22 October 2011

Counting is complete, more than 24 hours after polls closed, in the first round of the Kiribati parliamentary election.

Candidates need to win 50 percent of the vote in the first round to be declared, and a run-off election of the most popular candidates in the remaining seats will be held on Friday.

Counting in the largest seat, South Tarawa, was completed late on Saturday evening, with five candidates to compete in the second round.

The other large electorate, Betio, returned Tangariki Reete, and the remaining two seats will be contested in a second round of voting.

Christmas Island will hold a second round for all three of its seats.

The caretaker President, Anote Tong, retained his seat in Parliament, as did the vice-president.

There will be at least six new MPs, and so far, two women have been elected.

One minister has been ousted, and at least six will be forced to fight a second round of voting.

Once the country has selected 44 MPs, they will nominate candidates for president, which will then go to a popular vote.