30 Jul 2007

148 candidates to contest Kiribati election

7:18 pm on 30 July 2007

Kiribati's Electoral Commissioner says 148 candidates are to contest next month's election of the 44-seat parliament.

Christmas Island has the largest number of candidates standing, with 19.

Rine Ueara says all MPs are standing for re-election, including the president of the last government, Anote Tong, and the opposition's Dr Tetaua Taitai and Dr Harry Tong.

She says more than half of the candidate nominations are new.

But she says the electoral commission is meeting again this week to verify the eligibility of some candidates.

"You have to clear yourself if you're a public officer, whether to resign or to take a leave without pay. But according to the list there are people on the list who are civil servants that have not been cleared from the PSO, but then we found out that some officers have been cleared, but the PSO list was different, so we have to clear it up."

Kiribati Electoral Commissioner, Rine Ueara