15 Sep 2014

Vanuatu electoral college summoned to find new president

8:15 pm on 15 September 2014

58 members of Vanuatu's electoral college will arrive in Port Vila to elect a new president on Wednesday after being summoned by the country's electoral commission.

The electoral college consists of all 52 MPs and six provincial government presidents.

The principal electoral officer, Father Charles Vatu, says 23 people - including two women - have expressed an interest in becoming president, but only 13 of them qualify for the role.

Former Vanuatu Prime Minister, Former Vanuatu Foreign Minister, leader of the Melanesian Progressive Party

Former Vanuatu Prime Minister Barak Sope Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Two former prime ministers, Barak Sope and Maxime Carlot Korman, have put their names forward.

Fr Vatu says a candidate needs to have the support of 38 members in order to be elected president of Vanuatu.

"The presiding officer is the chief justice who will ensure that the election of the president takes place as the constitution says, and also, it is the role and responsibility of the electoral college to make sure that a president is elected."

Father Charles Vatu.