4 Sep 2009

New Vanuatu President wants focus on social issues

2:01 pm on 4 September 2009

In his first public statement since becoming Vanuatu's new Head of State, Iolu Johnson Abbil has called for the country to work together to resolve outstanding social issues.

Mr Abbil, who was appointed President by the Electoral College on Wednesday, says the country needs to focus on how parents deal with children to prevent youths drifting into social problems and ending up in jail.

Meanwhile, the president of Vanuatu's Republican Party, Maxime Carlot Korman, has told Radio Vanuatu why his party voted for Mr Abbil as President over female nominees.

He said while Vanuatu is still developing its political system, women could not yet take up this highest position until political parties accept and increase their female numbers in Parliament.

But the President of the Union of Moderate Parties, Serge Vohor, said his party declared its support for a female Presidential candidate because it believed in equality and felt that Vanuatu had reached a stage of maturity to elect a female to take up the position.