Former Ruling Party In Kiribati Welcome Election Defeat

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

BTK excited about new role as official opposition

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 21, 2016) – The former ruling party in Kiribati, Boutokaan te Koaua, of BTK, has publicly welcomed its defeat in the presidential election.

The long serving ruling party put up two candidates for last month's presidential contest but lost to Taneti Maamau.

In an attempt to regroup, BTK has appointed new members to its executive, with the former attorney general and MP for south Tabiteuea, Tiitabu Taabane, as the new party leader.

In a media release, the BTK says it's excited to be in the opposition after 12 years in government.

In an interview with the Kiribati Independent, the chairman England Iuta says the first challenge facing the new government is the raft of promises it made in the campaign.

Mr Iuta says they are keen to know how the government will pay for them.

He says they include upping the price paid for copra, subsidies for milk, some school fees, and the salaries of council workers and early childhood teachers.

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