Voters in Kiribati go to polls today in the first round of the national election. 133 candidates are standing for 44 seats. The chief electoral officer Takiakia Beneteti says there are about 40,000 registered voters. She says final figures may be slow to be compiled because of communication problems with some of the outer islands. “We are still working on it now, like we informed all the electoral officers from the outer islands to use every means of communication available. We use internet for some outer islands and some islands they are not access to internet VHF radio.”
Kiribati has put its presidential election on hold until next year so citizens travelling to celebrate the New Year can vote. Elections were held in mid October, with over 100 candidates contesting the 23 constituencies.
Three successful politicians have nominated to contest the presidency, the incumbent Anote Tong, the opposition leader in the last parliament Rimeta Beniamina, and Doctor Tetaua Taitai. Mr Tong said the vote would now be held on the 13 of January.