19 Apr 2013

Key Kiribati opposition MP defects

1:48 pm on 19 April 2013

A Kiribati MP, Rimeta Beniamina, is facing criticism over his defection to the government.

Speaking to the Kiribati Independent newspaper, Rimeta Beniamina says he has consulted several villages in his constituency about his defection.

The MP from Nikunau island in southern Kiribati was the leader of the opposition, Karikirakean Te I-Kiribati party but left it disgruntled after he lost support from this party to contest the last presidential election.

Some say they can recall when he was a strong critic of Anote Tong, who was re-elected as president last year when Mr Beniamina was one of the three candidates for the top job.

The opposition's Dr Tetaua Taitai says he is also surprised by the MP's decision to join the government.