Question: What is the Maneaba ni Maungatabu?
Answer: It is the legislature for Kiribati consisting of a single chamber.
Q: Who is the incumbent Speaker of the current Maneaba?
A: He is the Honorable Tebuai Uaai of Tabiteuea South.
Q: Where does the Maneaba ni Maungatabu hold its sessions as a legislature?
A: The Maneaba holds its sessions at the parliament building located along
South Tarawa Road in Ambo Village.
Q: Am I allowed to witness the proceedings of the Maneaba?
A: Yes. You may go to the parliament building, and take a seat at the gallery
to witness the proceedings. You have to be in proper attire, and must be silent
at all times in order not to disturb the MPs while at work.
Q: Who compose the Maneaba?
A: It is composed of 44 elected members in the 23 electoral districts of Kiribati,
and a representative of the Banaban community nominated by the Rabi Council.
Q: What are the electoral districts of Kiribati:
A: There are 23 in all, as follows: Abaiang; Abemama; Arorae; Banaba; Beru; Betio;
Butaritari; Kiritimati; Kuria; Maiana; Makin; Marakei; Nikunau; Nonouti; North Tarawa;
Onotoa; Rabi Council; South Tarawa; TabNorth; TabSouth; Tabuaeran; Tamana; Teraina.
Q: I am now 18 years old, studying at the KGV/EBS Government Secondary School.
Can I run in the September 2011 elections, so I may also be an MP?
A: No. You are not yet qualified. The Constitution requires a candidate to be at
least 21 years of age.
Q: My friend, a citizen of Tonga who has been staying here for ten years, wants to
represent the constituency of Makin. Can he run in the next elections?
A: No. The Constitution requires that a candidate, aside from being 21 years of age,
must be a citizen of Kiribati.
Q: What are the disqualifications for elected membership in the Maneaba ni Maungatabu?
A: Article 56 of the Constitution disqualifies the following: (1) One who has sworn
allegiance to a foreign power or State; (2) One who is certified to be insane or
otherwise adjudged to be of unsound mind; (3) One under death sentence imposed against
him; (4) One who has been adjudged guilty of an electoral offence; (5) One who is
holding a public office connected to the conduct of elections; (6) One who is acting
in any public office.
Q: When a Member of the Maneaba ni Maungatabu assumes the Office of the Beretitenti,
does he vacate his office?
A: That Member of the Maneaba ni Maungatabu shall not, by reason of the fact that
s/he holds the Office of the Beretitenti, cease to be a member of the Maneaba.
Q: How is the Speaker of the Maneaba chosen?
A: The Speaker is elected by the Members of the Maneaba from among persons who are
not members of the Maneaba. The Chief Justice presides at a sitting of the Maneaba
for the purpose of the election of a Speaker, and shall be responsible for the
conduct of any such election.
Q: Please describe the legislative process, or how a bill becomes a law (or an Act).
A: Pursuant to the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure of the
Maneaba ni Maungatabu , any MP may introduce a bill by submitting to the Clerk no
fewer than 25 working days before it is to be presented to Parliament. This enables
the Clerk to publish the bill and introduce it to all MPs, who then will have time
to study it and discuss it in their respective electorates before it is debated in
Parliament. Following the first reading debate, the bill is committed to a
Committee of the Whole Maneaba at the next meeting of the Parliament. This allows
time for the MPs to discuss the contents of the bill again in their electorates.
Urgent bills, or those which a majority of the MPs have resolved to proceed with,
may progress in the same meeting. The Committee of the Whole Maneaba considers the
bill clause by clause, making amendments and corrections. The bill then moves
straight to its second reading, which consists only of a motion by the bill’s
proponent that the bill be read for the second time and passed. Once passed,
a bill to become an Act must receive the Beretitenti’s assent, unless he is of
the opinion that it is inconsistent with the Constitution.
Q: Is there any plan of the Parliament to create an open and participatory
A: Yes, there is. The Parliament recognizes the need for the legislative process to
be as participatory and transparent as possible. It recognizes that civil society
organizations (CSOs), as well as regional and international experts, can also provide
the MPs with useful information during the legislative process. Therefore, the
Parliament is committed to creating a system which allows the MPs to interact and
receive information form a range of civil society and expert sources, as well as
the general public, during legislative deliberations. Further, the Parliament
will ensure that information on the legislative process, including those from
committee hearings, work programmes and draft laws under consideration is widely
disseminated to civil society and the general public through the Parliament website
and the media.
Q : What is the oversight power of the Parliament?
A: It is the power to oversee the activities, programs, policies and actions of the
Government, its agencies, subdivisions, and instrumentalities, to determine if the
laws are being faithfully executed. Others describe it as a process by which the
Parliament learns about the implementation, results, effectiveness and adequacy of
its past legislative work, including the policies implicit in laws and the programs
and activities carried out under such laws. Still others describe it the thorough,
systematic and ongoing review of programs – both permanent and temporary – to
evaluate their effectiveness in accomplishing intended objectives.
Q: Are there any plans of developing the capacity of the Public Accounts Committee
to exercise the oversight power of the Parliament?
A: Yes. The capacity of the PAC to provide effective oversight of public finances
has increased over the years. The Parliament remain committed to ensuring that the
effectiveness of the PAC continues to increase. In order to increase the openness,
transparency and effectiveness of the
PAC, the Parliament is committed to:  Developing and publishing detailed annual
work plans for the PAC and ensuring that work plans are effectively implemented;
 Implementing a rolling programme of training for PAC members;  Developing a
Handbook for the PAC on its role, duties and responsibilities, including advice on
how to assess expenditures in relation to achievement of the MDGs; and
 Reviewing relevant Standing Orders to explore options for ensuring that the
Executive responds to PAC recommendations and follow up is tracked..