ENGA Governor Peter Ipatas told thousands in the Wage local level government area in Kandep district, Enga province, to elect a leader who will work with them to bring much-needed services and development to the community during the Kandep Open by-election.
Mr Ipatas said this during a three-day official tour of the district last week, that as the governor of the province, he wanted to see the people elect a leader who could live with them and also work with the provincial government.
“This is an opportunity for the people of Kandep to elect a leader who can listen to his people and also work with other leaders and Government institutions in the province to deliver services and development to the district and the province,” he said.
Mr Ipatas said the people should not be listening to leaders who have been proven by the highest courts to be responsible for the breakdown in law and order during the 2007 election, resulting in the by-election.
Mr Ipatas, who is also the leader of the People’s Party, is likely to endorse a candidate to contest in the by-election, said it was also important for educated leaders in the province involved in the by-election to respect and allow the rule of law to take its own course to ensure a peaceful election.
“I have said this on many occasions but I must repeat that the greatest right our small people have is the right to free choice during election.
“This right must be respected by any educated person at all costs.
“Anyone that makes any attempt to suppress that right can be treated as the worse criminal,” he said.
Mr Ipatas said it was disappointing to see certain leaders and government officials coming up with plans to destroy the democratic election process in the district during the past election, especially when they hijacked the laws to suit certain leaders’ interests.
“As the governor of the province, I must assure the people of Kandep that this sort of criminal activity will not repeat itself during the by-election.
“We will make sure the people exercise their constitutional right without fear or favour to choose someone who they think will represent them in Parliament,” he said.
Mr Ipatas also assured the people that his administration would ensure the officials in Kandep, involved in the foul play during the election in 2007 general elections, would be prosecuted to restore public trust and confidence in the district.
“No one will get away with what they have done against the rule of law during the last elections in Kandep. We will make sure they pay the price for their actions,” he said.
Mr Ipatas said his party executive would announce the candidates to contest the by-election soon.