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Lonsdale in 2015
|8th President of Vanuatu|
22 September 2014 – 17 June 2017
|Prime Minister||Joe Natuman
|Preceded by||Philip Boedoro (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Esmon Saimon (Acting)|
|Born||Baldwin Jacobson Lonsdale
5 August 1948
Mota Lava, New Hebrides
|Died||17 June 2017
Port Vila Central Hospital, Port Vila, Vanuatu
Lonsdale was born on Mota Lava, in the Banks Islands, in 1948. Before becoming president, Lonsdale was a civil servant who served as the secretary general of the province of Torba on the island of Mota Lava. He later became an Anglican priest.
Lonsdale was occasionally referred to as Womtelo Reverend Baldwin Lonsdale. The title of Womtelo (literally “Rising Sun”) is the highest rank within the customary system of chiefly grades of his native island Mota Lava.
Lonsdale was elected president in an indirect election by an electoral college consisting of members of parliament and provincial governors. The vote took eight rounds; the longest ballot in the country's history. In the last vote, Lonsdale received 46 votes of 58 possible satisfying the two-thirds majority requirement.  The speaker of Vanuatu's parliament, Philip Boedoro, served as interim president during the voting.
Lonsdale was the second Anglican priest to be elected president of Vanuatu.
In his first speech as president, Lonsdale stressed the importance of the appointment for the province of Torba, promised to uphold the constitution, and asked the people of Vanuatu to stand united.
In October 2015, while Lonsdale was abroad, Speaker of Parliament Marcellino Pipite used his position as Acting President to issue a 'presidential pardon' to himself and 13 other MPs who had just been convicted of bribery and were awaiting sentence. Returning to Vanuatu only hours after the pardon was issued, Lonsdale expressed his sorrow at what had happened and gave a widely welcomed speech declaring that nobody is above the law and that "I will clean the dirt from my backyard". After consulting with legal experts and other leaders, Lonsdale revoked the pardon, citing the articles in the Vanuatu constitution which oblige leaders to avoid conflicts of interest and avoid bringing their integrity into question. Lonsdale's decision was upheld by the Vanuatu Supreme Court.
|President of Vanuatu