3 Sep 2009

Vanuatu's newly elected President continues long public role

1:54 pm on 3 September 2009

Vanuatu's new president is being described as humble and justice minded.

Iolu Abil, from Tanna, was elected President by the country's electoral college, after two previous attempts in which no one candidate attained the required two-thirds of the vote.

Mr Abil beat six other candidates in the third round of voting, including the former President Kalkot Mataskelekele, securing 41 votes.

A spokeperson for the Prime Minister's office, George Darimanu, says Mr Abil has worked in the private sector, including being the chairman of Air Vanuatu, and was a minister in the first post-independence cabinet.

"He played a lot of role in public life of Vanuatu. He was an elder of the Presbyterian church. At one time he was acting ombudsman. I think he is a very humble person. He is a person who tries to play fair, who always thinks about justice."

A spokeperson for the Vanuatu Prime Minister's office, George Darimanu.