Iolu Abbil elected as Vanuatu's new president
2009-09-02 18:39

Iolu Johnson Abbil was elected president of the Pacific island country Vanuatu on Wednesday afternoon.

Among the 57 votes, Abbil won 41 votes, more than two-thirds of the votes. It was the third attempt by the college to elect a new head of state in two days, after two earlier elections saw no one candidate attain the required two-thirds of the vote.

Abbil, born in 1944, comes from Tanna and was a former cabinet minister in the first Vanuatu government after the country gained independence in 1980.

He succeeds Kalkot Mataskelekele, whose term of presidency ended last month.

Vanuatu Prime Minister Edward Natapei told Xinhua on Wednesday evening that he was satisfied with the election results after three rounds of voting. He said Abbil is well respected in Vanuatu and deserves to be the president.

Parliament Speaker Maxime Carlot Korman, who has been the acting president after Mataskelekele's term expired in mid-August, also said the voting result was based on a comprise and agreement of the political parties.

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