24 Mar 2004

Vanuatu presidential election date set

7:10 pm on 24 March 2004

Vanuatu's Parliament, sitting as an electoral college, will select a President on April 8th.

While the nominees aren't yet known, the electoral forms have been sent to all provinces and the electoral college is waiting for the applications from relevant candidates to be returned.

It is not yet known if the outgoing President Father John Bennett Bani will contest for a second term.

In his televised farewell speech this week, Father Bani called on leaders to avoid foreign influences and for the people of Vanuatu not to depend all the time on assistance from outside.

The popular leader, an Anglican Church leader, also challenged Vanuatu's political leaders to keep their promises made to electors.