Maa­mau re-elected pres­i­dent of Kiri­bati, in blow for Tai­wan

Fiji Sun - - AUST/NZ/PACIFIC NEWS - Kiri­bati Pres­i­dent, Taneti Maa­mau.

Tarawa: Taneti Maa­mau has been re-elected pres­i­dent of Kiri­bati by more than 8000 votes, ce­ment­ing the coun­try’s re­la­tions with China.

The switch to Bei­jing from Tai­wan in Septem­ber brought protesters out into the streets, and whether to align with China or Tai­wan be­came the main di­vid­ing is­sue be­tween the two pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates.

Over the past three weeks, there were al­le­ga­tions of bribery and in­ter­fer­ence, with ac­cu­sa­tions fly­ing in what was de­scribed as a bit­ter cam­paign. It was also closely watched in Bei­jing, Taipei, Wash­ing­ton, Can­berra and Welling­ton. But in the end, Mr Maa­mau’s vic­tory was de­ci­sive - 26,053 votes com­pared to Banuera Be­rina, with 17,866 votes.

Anote Tong, a former Kiri­bati pres­i­dent, said Mr Maa­mau’s mar­gin of vic­tory was sig­nif­i­cant, and would con­sol­i­date China’s po­si­tion in the coun­try.

“So China is back, with all of the good­ies and what­ever else it will come with,” said Mr Tong, who switched to recog­nise Tai­wan in 2003.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.