22 Jan 2004

Maxime Carlot Korman tipped as a strong candidate for President of Vanuatu

5:41 pm on 22 January 2004

Supporters of the former Vanuatu prime minister, Maxime Carlot Korman, are calling him to remain in local politics, rather than become the next Head of State at the upcoming election.

The current head of state, Fr John Bennet Bani's term ends in late March.

As the oldest MP in Vanuatu, Mr Korman is expected to take on the new role.

However, our correspondent in Vanuatu, Len Garae, says while he may be the most likely candidate for the role, his party doesn't want to lose him.

"He has held various positions in cabinet as a minister and as the speaker of parliament. He's the oldest member of parliament and he's still very much an active person in parliament and his supporters would very much like him to continue him to hold a post in cabinet, instead of becoming president of the republic. 23"

Len Garae says if Mr Korman remained in politics, his supporters could retain employment opportunities.

But he believes if Mr Korman were to become the next head of state, he'd leave a huge vaccuum in his VRP party as to a replacement.