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TARAWA, Kiribati (Radio Australia, Dec. 31) - In Kiribati, the election of the president and the parliamentary speaker, originally scheduled for Monday, has been postponed.

A delay in the election means the new parliament will now not meet until January 6th.

Up to four candidates may stand for election as president to replace outgoing President Teburoro Tito whose government lost 14 of its 25 seats, including seven cabinet members, in the election earlier this month.

Meanwhile key figures of the ruling party and the opposition have begun canvassing support for their candidates.

In an interview with the country's national broadcaster, President Teburoro Tito, said he had secured the support of several new parliamentarians.

Despite a disappointing showing at the general election earlier this month, President Tito said he would press for one of his party's candidates to stand in the presidential election when parliament convenes its first meeting to select candidates early next year.

He said his ministers lost in the elections because they had not spent enough time working in their constituencies.

The Pacific News service, Pacnews reports that it's not known who will run for the opposition.

December 31, 2002

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia. 

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