WE the people of Vanuatu,
PROUD of our struggle for freedom,
DETERMINED to safeguard the achievements of this struggle,
CHERISHING our ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity,
MINDFUL at the same time of our common destiny,
HEREBY proclaim the establishment of the united and free Republic of Vanuatu founded on traditional Melanesian values, faith in God, and Christian principles,
AND for this purpose give ourselves this Constitution.
CHAPTER 1. THE STATE AND SOVEREIGNTY
1. REPUBLIC OF VANUATU
The Republic of Vanuatu is a sovereign democratic state.
2. CONSTITUTION SUPREME LAW
The Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic of Vanuatu.
3. NATIONAL AND OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
- The national language of the Republic of Vanuatu is Bislama. The official languages are Bislama, English and French. The principal languages of education are English and French.
- The Republic of Vanuatu shall protect the different local languages which are part of the national heritage, and may declare one of them as a national language.
4. NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY, THE ELECTORAL FRANCHISE AND POLITICAL PARTIES
- National sovereignty belongs to the people of Vanuatu which they exercise through their elected representatives.
- The franchise is universal, equal and secret. Subject to such conditions or restrictions as may be prescribed by Parliament, every citizen of Vanuatu who is at least 18 years of age shall be entitled to vote.
- Political parties may be formed freely and may contest elections. They shall respect the Constitution and the principles of democracy.
- For the purposes of determining national sovereignty, people of Vanuatu means all indigenous and naturalised citizens of Vanuatu.