22 Oct 2011

Caretaker Kiribati President retains his seat in Parliament

5:21 am on 22 October 2011

The caretaker Kiribati President, Anote Tong, has retained his seat in Parliament.

The republic voted yesterday in the first round of parliamentary elections.

Megan Whelan is in Tarawa.

"Candidates need to win 50 percent of the vote in the first round to be declared, and a run off election of the most popular candidates in the remaining seats will be held on Friday. Counting of votes continued late into the night but at least eight MPs have been returned, and four seats will go to another round of voting. Mr Tong won his seat of Maiana with a healthy majority, and the vice president, Terina Onorio also retained her seat. However, Mr Tong may face opposition when parliament nominates presidential candidates, with at least four new MPs among the early results."