31 Oct 2011

Four government ministers lose seats in Kiribati election

7:50 pm on 31 October 2011

Four government ministers have lost their seats after the second round of voting in the Kiribati election.

Twenty nine out of forty four MPs retained their seats, and a final place in the legislature will be decided on Thursday after a tie for Christmas Island's third seat.

A development worker in Kiribati, John Anderson, says lobbying now begins among MPs for the presidency, held by Anote Tong since 2003.

He says the party system in Kiribati is under developed and the opposition is not well organised.

"It's in two or three small groupings. I wouldn't call them parties because at least two of them don't have policies they just want to beat the president but they're going to have to bury their small differences to make sure they get one candidate they all stand behind and they get the numbers."

John Anderson says candidates for the presidency will face a popular vote in December.