Vanuatu daily news digest | 23 September 2014

Fr Baldwin Lonsdale is the eighth President of the Republic. He secured 46 of the votes of the members of the Presidential Electoral College near the end of the day yesterday, and thus the required 2/3 majority. He has served provincially and also worked for the British National Service in Condominium times (1968-72). He is qualified in theological studies from both St John’s College (Auckland) and the Bishop Patteson Theological College, Kohimarama, Solomon islands. The new President quickly on appointment proceeded to recognize the compromise made by both Prime Minister Natuman and Opposition leader Carcasses in ensuring the vote was achieved yesterday. This was on the seventh sitting of the College but after a great deal of dis-unity previously shown. President Lonsdale urged everyone to stand by our motto of "Long God yumi stanap. Long live the people of this nation," he prayed. He paid a tribute to leaders Natuman and Carcasses, Natuman having delayed his departure to the General Assembly of the UN in New York to ensure a successful vote in the Electoral College. Most of the different communities of Motalava (the President’s island) and other islands of Torba came together last evening to celebrate Torba achieving the presidency.

Vanuatu and China have signed an agreement which will allow more exports from Vanuatu as a Least Developed Country (LDC) to the Asian super power and free treatment of products emanating from here. Ambassador Xie Bohua also signed an agreement which will help build the stadium and facilities for the 2017 Mini Games in Port Vila.

Daily Post today has an Israeli implicated in a raid on businessman Ronan Harvey’s property at East Santo. The Israeli has been arrested. Ronan Harvey is the businessman who managed to have his alleged would-be assassin filmed on closed circuit TV with the firearm implicated for which that offender is serving a long prison term.