6 Oct 2011

People should decide on change of political system, says Vanuatu's former Head of State

8:03 am on 6 October 2011

Vanuatu's first head of state, Ati George Sokomanu, say the people will ultimately decide if the country should change to a Presidential system.

Vanuatu has been marking the 32nd anniversary of signing its Westminster style constitution in 1979.

The country became independent from Britain and France the following year.

Mr Sokomanu says to him, the country is ready to make constitutional changes, including introducing the direct election of a president.

"We've gone through the parliamentary system and I see no reason why, if the population of Vanuatu agrees that we should have a referendum and we should change the system into a Presidential system, I think it's the voice of the people that we need so that if they back it up, well we'll go ahead with the new system."