After eight rounds of voting, Vanuatu elects new president

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Nikenike Vurobaravu has been voted the 12th President of Vanuatu.

It took eight rounds of voting by the 58-member Electoral College before he secured the required minimum number of 38 on Saturday.

In the end he got a resounding 47 votes, after the Prime Minister Bob Loughman brokered a deal with the nine MPs of the coalition party led by former prime minister Charlot Salwai.

Those nine MPs have been part of the government for the past year but had fallen out with Loughman over his plans for constitutional reform.

The new president has had involvement with Vanuatu governments going back many years.

Most recently he has been the High Commissioner to Fiji.

Vurobaravu has promised to encourage national unity and to promote the issue of climate change.

SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS