KIRIBATI POISED FOR NATIONAL ELECTIONS

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Climate change, jobs, economy key issues

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 16, 2011) – Campaigning heats up in Kiribati this week, as the country goes to the polls on Friday.

138 candidates, including 12 women, are standing in 44 seats.

Some 60,000 people are eligible to vote in this weeks election, but Kiribati has traditionally had a low turnout.

The electoral office has been conducting awareness programmes on each island, to educate people on the importance of voting, and how to fill in ballot papers.

Climate change will be hotly debated in the election, especially after the recent visit by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Job creation and the economy will also be big issues, with President Anote Tong, who is vying for his third term, telling media he believes his Government has performed well.

Polling booths open at 7am on Friday, and results are expected to be known early on Saturday.

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