6 Oct 2011

Vanuatu's former Head of State says country ready for Presidential system

11:25 am on 6 October 2011

Vanuatu's first head of state, Ati George Sokomanu, say the country needs to make constitutional changes, including the direct election of a president.

Vanuatu has been marking the 32nd anniversary of signing its Westminster style constitution in 1979.

The country became independent from Britain and France the following year.

Mr Sokomanu says Vanuatu has learnt the advantages and disadvantages of the Westminster system over the intervening years.

"Vanuatu is now mature enough to go another step forward, try a presidential system. If we go ahead and talk to people about it and if we have a referendum, I think peiople will react but in a good way, to say yes, let's change the system, in a different way from what we've gone through for the last thirty-two years."