KIRIBATI’S TITO SWORN IN AS PRESIDENT

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KIRIBATI’S TITO SWORN IN AS PRESIDENT

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb. 28) - The newly re-elected President of Kiribati, Teburoro Tito, is being sworn in today for his third and final term as leader.

The Micronesian Republic claims a vast expanse of the central Pacific Ocean as its exclusive economic zone.

President Tito narrowly won the Presidential election last week and will be sworn-in by the chief justice of Kiribati, Robin Millhouse, at the Parliament building on Tarawa atoll.

All members of the newly elected Parliament are expected to attend.

President Tito defeated his major rival in the Presidential vote, Taberannang Timeon, by just 547 votes but it was a major turnaround considering how poorly the Tito government had performed in the parliamentary elections late last year.

The opposition, which won a majority of those seats, has since split.

Observers say a number of President Tito's strongest critics of recent years are now likely to join him by accepting positions in his new government, thus enabling him to form an effective administration.

March 3, 2003

Radio Australia: http://www.abc.net.au/ra

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