by Aren Baoa 1 Jan 2009 for Banaban Voice
Now that the 15 December Celebrations is over and festive season is almost over, there is still another reason for the Banabans to be excited; elections for new RCL members is being earmarked for early 2009. Anticipation in the community is high as who would make it to the nine members of Rabi Council of Leaders to lead administer the 1 million dollars annuity income (estimate) and provide leadership in the community for the next four years.
According to the former RCL member, who does not want to be named in this blog, indicated that there is a high possibility for old members returning to office for a second term. The rationale of his assessment is based on past experiences. He did however mention that he would not be surprised if new candidates are being elected.
What is interesting in the new line up of candidates is the return of former RCL Director of Services and Member of Parliament, David Christopher. Mr Christopher will be vying for the elder's seat from the village of Tabiang. Another candidate that I will be keeping an eye on is, Paulo Vanualailai. Paulo is by the far the most academically qualified candidate. He has indicated that he would leave his comfort zone/private consultancy business in Suva for less pay and face the unpredictable and complex political tradition in Rabi. However, as of today, Paulo's name still has not appeared in the voter’s registry.
Another interesting aspect of 2009 elections is the inclusion of two females; the Banaan Rabi radio personality and producer; Terikano Takesau and former 'post-mistress' of Rabi Post Office and wife of SDA pastor; Titaku Kabung.
Herewith is the list of names that was provided by our source from Rabi.
The candidates from Tabwewa are; Baeba Abetai, Katauea Ueue, Nei Terikano Takesau, Namatan Tiaterenga and Paulo Vanualailai is yet to be confirmed.
For the village of Buakonikai the candidates are Titaku Kabung, Takire Timeon and Temoai Kaintiku is yet to be confirmed.
The names of Uma village candidates that received so far are; Butau Bureitetau, Teatu Rewi, Tebaia Tawita, Tuateira Buratake.
For Tabiang village, we have David Christopher and his nephew Aretana Kabure, Tiare Bureti, Tiroba Tereikabu and Teruamwi. Please note that confirmation of names and the seats they are vying would be confirmed later in the week.
The question that all Banabans are asking now; what difference would the newly elected leaders make in improving the socio-economic livelihood of the people? What plans do they have for Banaba in light of Kiribati Government's pressure for remining and certain landowners view for rehabilitation? Would there be any plans to streamline RCL work force to make it more cost effective to allow some of the of funds to be utilized in education and more meaningful community based projects?
I hope that the team (whether old or new) would be bolder in making radical changes that is more realistic in view of current state of funds in our coffer and impact of population in development plans.