Kiribati Public Policy


Current policy

Kiribati is a country located in the region of Micronesia. See abbreviation for Kiribati. Kiribati is governed by President Taneti Maamau and his government. Maamau took office in March 2016. He then succeeded Anote Tong, who had been head of state and government since 2003 and was prevented by the constitution from running for re-election (see Political system).

The Maamau government is supported in Parliament by the political group Tobwaan Kiribati Pati (TKP), which was formed shortly before the 2016 presidential election through a merger of the two groups Karikirakean Tei-Kiribati (KTK) and Maurin Kiribati Pati (MKP).

  • Countryaah: Country facts and history of Kiribati, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.

In the December 2015 and January 2016 parliamentary elections, the Boutokaan Te Koaua (BTK) group was the largest with 25 of the 44 electable seats, while the TKP received 19 seats. Three of the members were women, and 22 members were elected to Parliament for the first time.

In the subsequent presidential election in March 2016, the CCP candidate Maamau won with 60 percent of the vote over BTK candidates Rimeta Beniamina and Tianeti Ioane, who gained just 39 percent and 1.5 percent respectively. The election thus meant a change of government when Tong’s grouping BTK went into opposition after holding the government for twelve years.

Under Tong’s government ownership in 2003–2016, the threat of climate change and elevated seawater levels towards the low-lying Kiribati existence was the clearly dominant political issue. Over time, Tong received some criticism for neglecting issues such as corruption and rising living costs for the Kiribati.

President Maamau has also chosen to prioritize the fight against climate change, but he is also working to reduce unemployment among the population and corruption within the state apparatus. Another challenge the government has faced is the effects of the country’s rapid population growth. Programs exist to get people to move from, for example, the capital city of Tarawa to more sparsely populated outer islands.

The lack of clean drinking water is also a serious problem that the government is trying to address with, among other things, water treatment projects. The water shortage is exacerbated by elevated seawater levels as salt water penetrates into the freshwater reservoirs.

In March 2020, Kiribati introduced a state of emergency in an attempt to prevent the new corona virus sars-cov-2 from spreading to the islands. Kiribati was then one of the few countries in the world not yet reached by the pandemic caused by the corona virus.


During spring 2020, parliamentary elections were held in two rounds. Prior to the election, the new group Boutokaan Kiribati Moa (BKM) was formed through a merger of two groups. The election result was that President Maamau’s China-friendly CCP lost its majority to the more Taiwan-friendly BKM. But after several negotiations, the electoral process ended with the two blocs taking 22 seats each in parliament.

In May, the new parliament elected two candidates for the June 22 presidential election: President Taneti Maamau from the CCP and the challenger Banuera Berina from BKM. President Maamau was re-elected with just over 59 percent of the vote against nearly 41 percent of challenger Berina.


Official name

Ribaberikin Kiribati / Republic of Kiribati


republic, unitary state

Head of State

President Taneti Maamau (2016–)

Head of government

President Taneti Maamau (2016–)

Most important parties with mandates in the last election

Boutokaan Kiribati Moa (BKM) 22, Tobwaan Kiribati Pati (TKP) 22 (2020)

Main parties with mandates in the second most recent elections

Boutokaan Te Koaua (BTK) 25, Tobwaan Kiribati Pati (TKP) 19 (2016)


83.1% in the 2016 presidential election, 75.7% in the 2020 parliamentary elections

Upcoming elections

parliamentary elections 2024, presidential elections 2024