THREE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT NOMINATED FOR KIRIBATI PRESIDENT

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TARAWA, Kiribati (October 13, 1998 - PACNEWS)---At a special meeting of Kiribati's Parliament yesterday seven MPs were nominated for the position of President, but only three accepted.

Those who chose to remain in the running are caretaker President Teburoro Tito of South Tarawa, Dr. Harry Tong, also from South Tarawa, and Amberoti Nikora of Aranuka, a member of the opposition Boutokan Te Koaua Party.

Tito represents the ruling Mwaneaban te Mauri Party, while Tong is reported to represent a new political party which will announce its name shortly.

Speaker Tekire Tamuera comfortably retained his seat, beating his only opponent, Rutiano Benetito, a former parliamentarian and current Chief Councilor for Betio town.

Kiribati's 41 new members of Parliament were also sworn in at the meeting.  Attorney General Michael Takabwebwe is the 42nd, ex-officio member of Parliament.

The date when the electorate will vote to select either Tito for a new term as president, or replace him with either Tong or Nikora, is expected to be announced this week.

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