31 Mar 2004

At least eight candidates for Vanuatu presidency

10:49 am on 31 March 2004

There are eight nominees so far for the Presidency of Vanuatu, with local media predictions that a total of eleven candidates will contest the vote at Parliament on April 8th.

Parliament, sitting as an electoral college, will select the new President to succeed Father John Bani, who completed his five year term last week.

Our correspondent Kalvau Moli says Kalkot Mataskelekele, the country's first indigenous Solicitor General and a former Supreme Court judge, may be the Government's favoured candidate.

"He is highly respected, is clean, has a good track record and was an MP and he looks as if he will be getting the backing of the government. They are in negotiations on that at the moment. He stands a good chance on the basis he is also a leading figure in Vanuatu's struggle for independence."