Vanuatu remains without a Head of State

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The Electoral College sat again this afternoon but was unable to reach a final choice for President. They will now meet again tomorrow, Thursday morning, to choose the new President following the death of Fr Baldwin Lonsdale. Chief Justice Lunabek has continued as Returning Officer for the poll. This afternoon Tallis Obed Moses achieved 32 votes, and Maxime Carlot Korman 23. Two other candidates achieved one vote each.

The Ministry of Public Works has reported some projects to improve the safety of Lolowai harbour have recently taken place. Minister Napat pointed out the difficulties larger vessels face, especially since there is much transshipment at this, the central port for many northern islands. The works undertaken will streamline operations at the port.

Ifira Trustees intends to purchase the land adjacent to the Grand Hotel to make an Iririki Landing, a function the vacant block has been performing for many years. The landing will assist travel to and from both small islands in the harbour. The purchase agreement and payment of a deposit were made last Friday.

Vanuatu Air Ambulance made its first medical evacuation a few days ago with a trip to Nouméa. The service will be made wherever there are runways where the plane can land. Luganville and Tanna will also be able to land the plane, and certain other Polynesian and Micronesian countries’ airports.

The Blue Springs Group, a Chinese company, has purchased Evergreen Vanuatu Limited, the company which has provided and made popular the Mele Cascades tour. The new owners will target the Asian market. Upgrading and development are high on the Blue Springs agenda.

A review committee is now superintending the VBTC staff recruitment programme. New recruitments are now on hold to give a chance to the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers to evaluate the reforms so far.

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