By MALUM NALU
THE Hela provincial assembly needs to elect an acting governor while awaiting the Electoral Commission’s decision on whether to have a by-election, an official says.
Constitutional and Law Reform Commission Secretary Dr Eric Kwa told The National that the provincial government could not function without an acting governor to replace Governor Anderson Agiru who died in April.
Kwa said while it was the prerogative of Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato to decide on the by-election, “in terms of the administration of the provincial government, there must be an acting governor”.
“They have to sign off cheques, sign off letters, they’ve got to engage in meetings so there must be an acting governor,” Kwa said.
“The appointment of an acting governor is not dependent on the elections.”
He said there was nothing illegal about the Hela provincial assembly meeting to elect an acting governor.
“So long as there is a vacancy in the office of the governor, they can call an assembly meeting and they can elect someone to be the acting governor,” he said.
“The election process is a separate matter altogether. If the electoral commissioner decides to run the election tomorrow, that’s his business.
“But in terms of the vacancy, it must be filled.”
Dr Kwa said the vacancy could be filled by anyone of the existing Hela MPs.
By MALUM NALU