7 Nov 2013

Kiribati president defends ministers' sacking

5:47 pm on 7 November 2013

The president of Kiribati, Anote Tong, has held a news conference to discourage the people of Tabiteuea North and Beru from supporting a challenge by two former cabinet ministers who he sacked last month.

The two sacked ministers are Taberannang Timeon and Kirabuke Teiaua.

In August it was revealed in parliament that Mr Timeon got a sitting allowance of 924 US dollars, many times what he should have got.

At the time Mr Teiaua defended the size of the allowance, saying it was no problem.

Mr Timeon's allowances were reportedly beefed up with payments taken from the profits of the Kiribati Port Authority.

The people of Tabiteuea North and Beru were protesting against the ministers' removal but Mr Tong has told them that the Authority belongs to the people of Kiribati, and that he acted within the law by sacking them.