Kiribati - Leadership

Tito has held government positions since the early 1980s, including seven years as a member of the National Assembly. The foundation of his leadership is his Maneaban te Mauri Party, which had 16 of the 42 total seats in parliament in 2003. Seventeen belong to the Boutokaan te Koaua Party, and seven are independents (one seat is reserved for the Attorney General and one reserved for the representative of Banaba).

Tito is widely respected for his articulate speaking style and his forthright questions. In the past, Tito has criticized Kiribati politics as one dominated by elites. He has often spoken about the need to have a long-term vision of democracy for his country. While his direct manner has made him popular among many I-Kiribati, some more traditional politicians dislike his modern style. They have complained that the spirit of Kiribati politics is not one of confrontation but one of consensus decision making. While in the past Tito has criticized civil servants for their inefficiency, he needs their cooperation if he wants to develop the social and economic potential of his country. He has often said that it is important for politicians to be committed to the long-term future of the country rather than to seek reelection. His vision for the country is self-sufficiency and a stronger democracy with more active participation on the part of the I-Kiribati.

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