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Iolu Abbil elected as Vanuatu's new president
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19:16, September 02, 2009

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

An Electoral College comprising the 52 members of parliament and the heads of the six provincial governments should cast their ballots at the parliament house to vote a new head of state. On Wednesday afternoon, only 57 members of the electoral college cast the ballots.

Among the 57 votes, Abbil won 41 votes, more than two thirds of the votes. Former President Kalkot Mataskelekele won 16 votes.

Under the constitution, a candidate must win the support of two thirds of the electoral college to be elected as a new president.

A total of 11 candidates, including two women, contested for the presidency.

Vanuatu's presidential election began on Tuesday. But Tuesday's vote on a new president failed to come up with a clear winner.

During Tuesday's vote, Vincent Boulekone won 16 votes but failed to win the two thirds of the electoral college, or 39 votes.

Former President Kalkot Mataskelekele won 14 votes while Iolu Abbil won 11 votes. Kalo Nial and female candidate Yvette Sam both won seven votes.

A second round of votes was held on Wednesday morning. A total of 57 members of the electoral college cast their ballots. Among the 57 votes, Abbil won 26 votes, Mataskelekele won 16 votes and Boulekone won 16 votes. None of the candidates won the support of two thirds of the electoral college to be elected as a new president.

The third round of votes was held on Wednesday afternoon and Abbil won 41 votes, more than two thirds of the votes.

On Wednesday evening, Abil was sworn in as Vanuatu's new president.

Source: Xinhua



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