24 Oct 2011

Kiribati readies for second round of election

7:20 am on 24 October 2011

Campaigning begins today in the second round of the Kiribati parliamentary elections.

About half the country's seats have been decided, and the rest face a run-off election of the most popular candidates.

Megan Whelan reports from Tarawa ..

"Two islands will hold their first round votes today, after having to postpone it due to delays receiving ballot papers. The first round saw six new MPs elected, and seven ministers face the second round. Two women have been re-elected, including Teima Onorio, the vice president in the last parliament, and the caretaker President, Anote Tong, also retained his seat in parliament. A former President Teburoro Tito retained his seat in the largest electorate, TUC, but five candidates, including the two sitting members, will fight a second round. Turnout for this election was high in the outer islands, but only about 45 percent in the urban areas. Following the parliamentary elections, MPs will nominate candidates for President, who will then face a popular vote."