2 Dec 2002

Early election results in Kiribati indicate slipping support for the ruling party

8:20 am on 2 December 2002

The President of Kiribati, Teburoro Tito, has lost out to Opposition leader, Dr Harry Tong, in the crucial Tarawa Urban Council seat in the first round of of the country's general elections.

Dr Tong won 51 per cent of the vote.

Other results indicate that some of President Tito's Cabinet Ministers have also lost their seats.

176 candidates were contesting 40 positions.

The new MPs will nominate candidates for the presidency which will be decided in a vote in parliament in January.