There were four political parties in the Ninth Parliament namely Boutokaan Te Koaua (BTK Government), Maurin Kiribati Party (MKP), Maneaban Te Mauri Party (MMP) and Kiribati Tabomoa Party. The parties are loose groupings rather than disciplined blocks, with little or no structure. Members may change allegiance on a number of occasions during their tenure. It is also common for members to vote according to the special interests of their electorate on certain issues.
At the commencement of the Tenth Meeting of the Ninth Parliament it become clear that there only 3 Political Parties on 23rd August, 2010 the Speaker announced in Parliament that Maneaban Te Mauri Party and Kiribati Tabomoa Party had combined as one to form the United Coalition Party (which is now recognised as Karikirakean Tei-Kiribati or KTK Party). As a result of this merger the members of Karikirakean Tei-Kiribati party came to 12 whilst the other former leading opposition party membership was reduced to 7. According to Rule 12 of the Rules of Procedure of the Maneaba Ni Maungatabu, the Leader of the largest party in terms of its parliamentary membership which is not in Government or in coalition with a Government is entitled to be recognized as a Leader of the Opposition. Mr. Rimeta Beniamina the member from Nikunau Island has become opposition leader of this party replacing the former leader Mr. Nabuti Mwemwenikarawa of Maurin Kiribati Party.