4 Nov 2019

Kiribati govt loses majority in Parliament

2:56 pm on 4 November 2019

The Kiribati government has lost its majority in Parliament for the first time in three years.

Parliament House in Kiribati

Parliament House in Kiribati Photo: RNZ Pacific / Koro Vaka'uta

The opposition, which could use its numbers to call for fresh elections, has been strengthened by discontent over contentious relations with China.

The House of Assembly opened today for the first time since Kiribati ditched diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favour of China in September.

But the government is on the back foot, holding just 20 of the 46 seats in Parliament.

The opposition Boutokaan te Koaua, or the BTK Party, has 13 seats.

And a new opposition party formed today, Kiribati Moa, or Kiribati First, holds another 13 seats.

Kiribati Moa is led by the former chair of the ruling Tobwaan Kiribati Party, Banuera Berina.