5 Jan 2016

25 Kiribati seats to be decided in second round

4:47 pm on 5 January 2016

Election officials in Kiribati say only 19 of the 44 seats in last week's first round of voting were decided by candidates who secured an outright majority.

The first round also eliminated 62 of the 133 aspiring politicians.

Those left standing are four runner-up candidates in two-member seats and three in each single member seat.

Ballot papers are being printed today for Thursday's second round.

Chief electoral officer Takiakia Benetteti says preparations for the second round are progressing well although communications are still proving a challenge for some outer islands.

"We have liaised with the police so that we could use their VHF for those who are at the outer island you know to report their results. Sometimes it is quite difficult, especially for the Line Islands."

Eliminated in the first round were a government minister Tom Murdoch and the son of Anote Tong who is bowing out of polictics after serving three terms as president.

Tong at Pacific Islands Forum in 2015

outgoing Kiribati President Anote Tong Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta