Kiribati government loses majority

Will Kiribati have a new government by December? That is the million-dollar question with the split in the ruling government of President Taneti Mamau that has seen the defection of 14 party members and with it, the sudden loss of its majority in parliament.

Thirteen of those defectors have formed themselves into the Kiribati Moa or Kiribati First Party, which has since aligned itself with the opposition Tobwaan Kiribati Party. The opposition numbers swelled to 27 when Mamau’s minister for justice, Natan Teewe resigned in early November.

Mamau has just 19 MPs amongst his ranks now.

Teewe said his defection was promoted by the President’s decision to postpone the delivery in parliament of his government’s 2020 budget. Mamau made a U-turn on the budget, deciding to re-introduce it to parliament on the second week of November. The bill was not passed, as expected.

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