24 Mar 2004

Vanuatu's President completes his term

3:03 pm on 24 March 2004

The outgoing Vanuatu President Fr John Bennett Bani has called for the country's leaders to keep their promises and not to fail their electors.

The Daily Post reports that in his farewell address Fr Bani also called on leaders to avoid foreign influences and for the people of Vanuatu not to depend all the time on assistance from outside.

Fr Bani also says countries which attach string to aid assistance can be held accountable for the problems faced by recipient countries.

Meanwhile the Electoral Commission has sent out application forms for people who would like to succeed Fr Bani.

But our correspondent Len Garae says the process has been held up by Cyclone Ivy which hit Vanuatu earlier this month.

"it is going to take some time before all the provinces have issued application forms to the relevant candidates, but the ball has begun rolling now and the people are waiting with interest to see who is going to apply and how long it is going to take but they have given three weeks to get the process in place"

Once nominees are known Parliament will select a new President.