INCUMBENTS DOMINATE KIRIBATI ELECTIONS

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Lobbying begins for nation’s presidency

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 7, 2011) – The final member of parliament in the Kiribati elections has been decided after Christmas Island’s third seat went to a third run off vote on Thursday.

Jacob Teem has retained his seat by just 27 votes ahead of his opponent Rutio Bangao.

Teem’s election brings the tally of re-elected members to thirty out of the 44 seats in the parliament.

A development worker on Kiribati, John Anderson, says lobbying has begun for the presidency which is likely to be fought over Taiwanese and Chinese aid, copra prices and pensions.

"It’s all very vague. We do have one opposition group saying it’s going to raise copra prices and that affects the outer island communities because it’s a staple income. There’s some talk of raising the pensions of the elderly. What the opposition’s saying is time for change."

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