After three rounds of voting, Tallis Obed Moses was elected Vanuatu’s head of state on Thursday July 6 by the Electoral College. According to Radio NZ, Reverend Moses is a Presbyterian minister well respected for his moral character. He replaces Baldwin Lonsdale, who, after serving as the nation’s president since 2014, died suddenly on June 17. The presidency is a largely ceremonial role.
“Our prayers are with the new president of the country,” said Pastor Nos Terry Mailalong, who leads the Adventist Church’s 23,000 members in Vanuatu. “He now has big shoes to fill left by Baldwin Lonsdale.”
It seems clergy were well-regarded for the presidency; out of the 16 candidates, at least three were clergy, including two Adventist pastors. Pastor Dorolyn Laloyer was the only female candidate; she is also the only commissioned Adventist woman pastor in Vanuatu. Pastor John Leeman, the previous president of the Adventist Church in Vanuatu, was the other Adventist candidate.
“All the presidents of the country from independence  up until now have been either Presbyterian, Catholic or Anglican,” said Pastor Mailalong. “We hope that when the time is right the Lord will allow an Adventist [to be] in that position.”