Second election in Vanuatu fails to produce new president

A second presidential election in Vanuatu this morning has failed to produce a new head of state.

Yesterday’s vote for the republic’s seventh president was split, with no one candidate attaining the required two-thirds of the vote.

An Electoral College comprising the 52 members of parliament and the heads of the six provincial governments, will sit for a third election this afternoon.

Our correspondent in Vanuatu says after yesterday’s vote the Prime Minister Edward Natapei was unable to resolve differences among his coalition government and settle on a single candidate.

Hilaire Bule says Mr Natapei supports Iolu Abil but the deputy prime minister supports the outgoing president, Kalkot Mataskelekele.

“At this stage the Prime Minister has to convince his deputy prime minster to support the party’s candidate but if Ham Lini is still maintaining his support there will be no president this afternoon.”


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