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Kiribati Parliament elects news Speaker and candidates for the Presidential election next mont
Kiribati's Parliament session kicked-off with the swearing-in of all newly elected Members of Parliament (MPs) and the election of the Speaker of the House and the announcement of the Presidential candidates.
New Speaker of the House, Honourable Teatao Teannaki was also sworn-in after winning the secret ballot.
Honourable Teatao Teannaki is a former President of Kiribati and comes from the island of Abaiang. He replaced former Speaker, Taomati Iuta. Teannaki gained 26 votes while Iuta had 19.
The former ruling Boutokaan te Koaua (BTK) Party annoounced the names of two presidential candidates namely Mr. Rimeta Beniamina and Mr. Tianeti Ioane.
Mr. Beniamina is from the island of Nikunau and served in the Tong administration as Minister of Communication, Transport and Tourism Development. He was also co-Chair of the Climate Change Parliament Select Committee. Mr. Ioane from Aranuka Island is new in the political arena and has just retired from a senior Agricultural position within government.
From Tobwaan Kiribati – a coalition party, Mr. Taaneti Mamau was announced as their Presidential hopeful. Mr. Mamau who is from the Island of Onotoa, had been a strong Opposition leader in the past decade and was Secretary for Finance in the Tito government.
The Electoral Commission is yet to announce the dates for the nation-wide Presidential elections but unofficial reports suggests the elections might take place around 17 March 2016.
The three Presidential candidates are expected to go ‘head-to-head' next week in a public debate to be broadcasted live on national radio. The
Presidential Debate is organized by the Kiribati Media Association (KIMA).
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