Voter registration has closed in Kiribati for the elections of a new 44-member parliament later this month.
The election will take place in two rounds, with the first one on December the 30th and a second on January the 7th.
The Chief Electoral Officer, Takiakia Benteti, says in the two main urban areas of Betio and South Tarawa, almost 18,000 people have registered to vote.
The officer says they are yet to receive the number of registered voters and candidates from the remaining islands.
In South Tarawa and Betio, there are 34 candidates, including six former parliamentarians, Teburoro Tito, Maere Tekanene, Dr Mareka Puta Tofiga, Martin Puta Tofiga, Ioteba Redfern and Tangariki Reete.
The president, Anote Tong, will bow out of office because he will have completed the maximum three terms as president allowed under the constitution.