Vanuatu President calls for unity and peace
Newly elected President of Vanuatu, Fr Baldwin Lonsdale calls for unity and peace in the nation.
Vanuatu's Electoral College has finally elected a new president on Monday after seven meetings stretched over more than two weeks.
Father Baldwin Lonsdale, from the island of Motalava in Torba Province is a priest in the Anglican Church, and the eighth president of the country.
He was a senior civil servant and the secretary general of the Torba provincial government before becoming a priest.
An emotional Father Lonsdale spoke to Hilaire Bule in Port Vila shortly after his election.
FR BALDWIN LONSDALE: Well, it has been undecided among the electoral college members because there are times that numbers has gone up and numbers going down but I still had hope that at the end, eventually I will get this position.
HILAIRE BULE: What is your message to the people of Vanuatu and mainly, people of Torba Province?
FBL: First thing to the nation we have to stand united together as a nation. And let us be mindful of our unity for the nation to progress and advance forward. And it is my appeal to the whole nation to stand united together and seek God's guidance in everything we do for this nation. Secondly, for the people of Torba, it is the happiest moment in Torba today, that people are very privileged to have this opportunity for the first head of state to come from Torba.
HB: You are the first head of state to come from Torba Province, and the second Anglican Priest to become head of state?
FBL: Yes, you are right, this is the second head of state being an Anglican Priest.
HB: What do you think about your role as a President of the Republic of Vanuatu?
FBL: I know that there is a big responsibility in the office of the head of state. But my first and foremost priority is to make sure that the constitutions of the nation is upheld at all times. And that peace, unity, justice and harmony prevail at all time in the nation and I will continue to seek the support of the whole citizens of the nation and especially for the churches that they continue to pray for the unity of this nation at all times.
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