potape

Potape voted governor

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KOMO-Margarima MP Francis Potape, pictured, has been appointed by the Hela provincial assembly as Governor to replace the late Anderson Agiru.
Potape was yesterday elected by nine members of the 13-member assembly in Tari.
Potape had been vying for the post with Koroba-Lake Kopiago MP Phillip Undialu.
Undialu, Tari Pori MP James Marape, Church representative Rev Olene Yawai and Awi Pori Lagayu local level government president Charlie Apalu were absent when the vote was taken.
Assembly clerk Watson Tebela and provincial administrator William Bando were also absent.
Deputy assembly clerk Philbert Tuya was called in to take the minutes of the proceedings.
Tebi LLG president Thomas Tawi nominated Potape after deputy governor and acting chairman Thomas Potape called for nominations.
The nine members who attended were Thomas Potape (Komo LLG president),  Jacinta Haiyape (women’s rep), Eric Yawas (Hulia LLG), Yale Hape (Upper Wage), Guluwa Wakinda (Lower Wage), Thomas Tawi (Tebi), Efala Bape (Mt Bosavi), Markus Kapia (Lake Kopiago) and Potape.
Potape was sworn in by Hela magistrate Vincent Euralia.
People gathered peacefully outside the gate of the assembly hall to hear the proceedings broadcast via a loud speaker.
Hela police, with the support of a mobile squad attached with the PNG LNG security operations, provided security.
Potape said he was prepared to work with everyone, including Undialu, Marape and other leaders in the province.
Potape said the Hela government would address escalating law and order issues, including tribal fights.
He allocated K1 million for the law and order sector in the province and promised to complete the work left behind by Agiru.
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