7 Mar 2003

Tito swears in most of new Kiribati cabinet but queries over level of support

4:53 pm on 7 March 2003

The newly re-elected President of Kiribati, Teburoro Tito, has sworn in seven members of his new cabinet this morning, and will swear in the remaining three in a second ceremony in two weeks.

Kiribati media reports say the opposition still holds a majority in parliament, despite two of its MPs, one the former opposition leader Dr Harry Tong, crossing the floor.

Dr Tong is the new Minister of Health.

The news editor of Radio Kiribati, Ross Terubea, says it's uncertain how President Tito actually plans to govern without the numbers in parliament, but that should become clearer when the House sits.

Mr Terubea says the president will need a parliamentary majority in the 42-seat house before presenting the budget on March 24th.

"One will never know what happens until parliament actually sits on March 24th. That will be D-day for him. When parliament sits on March 24th, everybody in Kiribati will manage to see who is on this side and who is on the other side."

The news editor of Radio Kiribati, Ross Terubea.