13 May 2003

13 seats out of 40 decided in first ballot in Kiribati

6:18 am on 13 May 2003

Preliminary results from Kiribati's elections show the outgoing president Teburoru Tito's party holding onto a slim lead.

A second round of voting was held yesterday in 10 electorates where no candidate had managed to secure the required 50 percent of the vote.

However, early figures for the 13 seats declared so far show Mr Tito's party with a slight lead.

The news editor of Radio Kiribati, Ross Terubea, says despite the initial result, it's still anyone's guess as to how the public will vote in the second round.

"election results on Friday showed the former ruling party, Tito's party, having a very narrow lead, having six of his Ministers re-elected, and one backbencher, and for the Opposition, they have six of them back"

Ross Terubea from Radio Kiribati.

This is the country's second general elections in six months.

It follows a no confidence vote against President Tito in March.