His Excellency Taneti Maamau (born 16 September 1960) is an I-Kiribati politician and a former deacon of the Kiribati Uniting Church (previously known as Kiribati Protestant Church). He is the 5th President of Kiribati after successfully winning last year’s Presidential Election, leading his opposition party of Tobwaan Kiribati to a major victory to take over administration. He won the election in December 2015 with a major victory winning the large majority of votes of 19,883 (60%) against his two rivals from the ruling party, Rimeta Beniamina with 12,764 votes (38%) and Tianeti Ioane with only 482 votes (2%).
During his campaign, President Taneti Maamau laid out his promises in his manifesto “Te Motinnano” which most of its content have attracted the interest of the nation, thus leading him to win the election. The first time ever in history of copra production, with an increase in price of $2 per kilo, the newly introduced Free Education policy for those students who pass their form 4, 5 and 6 at senior secondary schools, and the establishment of the anti-corruption committee to probe into past corruption issues have seen to be the new changes made under his administration.
Despite speculations from the Opposition claiming that his government will accept China, Maamau vowed to continue to maintain his foreign policy with Taiwan as its ally.
Maamau is nationally known for his dedication and commitment to Church and a strong member of the Kiribati Uniting Church. He had also become deacon of the Church for unaccountable years before entering politics. Maamau is best known by his highly involvement in other Churches’ events apart from his own Kiribati Uniting Church, which in turn, touches the hearts of everyone to admire him most for his Christian values.
Maamau began his career in the civil service as a Planning Officer with the Ministry of Finance in 1979, joined the Admin cadre as an Assistant Secretary for Ministry of Finance. He continued his Admin career as a Senior Assistant Secretary for Ministry of Education, Deputy Secretary for Ministry of Finance and also for the Office of Te Beretitenti, until became Permanent Secretary during His Excellency Teburoro Tiito’s Government reign (3rd President). In his High position, Maamau had worked for Public Service Office, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Commerce, and Industry & Cooperatives as Permanent Secretary. Prior to retirement age, Maamau resigned from service; this was during Former President Anote Tong’s presidential reign. His idea of resignation is to join politics where he became a Member of Parliament from his home island Onotoa. Ever since 2007, Maamau was a strong opposition MP until elected from Party members to compete for President.