Kiribati is a small island state with a population of approximately 100,000 people. The Kiribati legislature has 46 members – 44 elected representatives, plus two appointed members (1 from the Banaban community and the Attorney General).
There are 7 single member electorates, 11 two-member districts, and 5 three-member districts. Members of Parliament are elected for a 4-year term. Kiribati uses electoral system whereby two rounds of voting are undertaken. In single member districts, if no candidate secures 50% of the vote, there is a second round run-off between the top two candidates. In multi-member electorates, voters may cast votes for up to the full number of vacant seats available. To be elected, candidates in multi-member electorates need 25% or more of the vote. If a second round of votes is needed, then the candidate with the highest number of votes wins.
Kiribati has a small but growing number of women MPs. In the 2007 elections, three women were elected, and of these three, Hon Teima Onorio was selected as Vice President of Kiribati. In the 2011 elections, all three incumbent women MPs won their seats, plus one more woman candidate was elected. Of these four women MPs, Hon Teima Onorio continued as Vice President, and Hon Maere Tekanene was selected as Minister of Education. In December 2015, 18 women stood for national elections out of 133 candidates. News reports noted that the number of registered women candidates for this elections more than doubled the number of women that stood during the 2011 elections (5 women candidates). Following the December 2015/January 16 elections, 3 women were elected, namely Hon Teima Onorio, Hon Tangariki Reete, and Hon Shiu Fung Kamho.
The first round of elections in 2020 were held on 14th April, with a second round held on 21st April 2020. 4 women were successfully elected into Parliament, out off 44 MPs. Following the elections, former woman MP Tangariki Reete was elected as Speaker of Parliament. In Kiribati, a person who is not a Member of Parliament can be elected into the position of Speaker of Parliament.
Hon Taabeta Teakai
Electorate: South Tarawa
Political Status: N/A
Hon Teima Onorio
Party: Boutokan Te Koaua (Government)
Political Status: Member of the Opposition
Hon Tessie Lambourne
Political Status: N/A