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Court annuls elections

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By DEMAS TIEN
A COURT has declared as illegal the elections of two MPs in Hela to the position of governor by two different factions of the provincial assembly on July 5.
Koroba-Lake Kopiago MP Philip Undialu was elected in the morning by some members of the provincial assembly while Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape got the nod in the afternoon from other members to replace the late Anderson Agiru.
Justice Collin Makail ruled that the declaration of Undialu as the governor was null and void.
Makail said: “While the meeting held in the morning was according to the prescribed time for holding an assembly meeting, it was held in the absence of the deputy chairman of the assembly and chaired by an unauthorised officer.
“As to the afternoon meeting, it was held outside the prescribed time and time fixed for the meeting, and an unauthorised officer performed the function of the assembly clerk.”
The provincial assembly clerk is now required to serve notice of a new date, time and place for the provincial assembly members to elect a new governor by following all requirements provided by the law.
Undialu was elected governor by five assembly members in the morning and Potape was elected by seven members in the afternoon. Makail ruled that the two meetings were illegal because they were called and conducted in breach of the Standing Orders of the provincial government.

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