MPs’ Hela bid

The National,Thursday June 23rd, 2016

THE people of Hela are to decide next week between MPs Philip Undialu and Francis Potape on who is to become the acting governor to replace the late Anderson Agiru.
Tari-Pori MP James Marape, who does not qualify for the position because he is a Cabinet minister (Finance), said the provincial assembly was scheduled to meet next week in Tari. It is understood that intense lobbying has already started in the province between the supporters of Undialu, from Koroba-Lake Kopiagi, and Potape from Komo-Margarima.
Marape said the Department of Provincial and Local Level Government would issue instructions for the meeting and advise on the correct procedure and process to fill the vacancy.
Agiru passed away last April in Port Moresby.
“We will do that in respect of our late governor,” Marape said.
“As I indicated at the funeral, this is Governor Agiru’s term in office. He was the first governor for Hela. This is his term and we will continue to give him that honour and respect. The process that will take place, as per instruction from the department concerned, will allow us to install (an acting governor) from the two MPs. I, as a minister do not qualify to contest. One of them will be installed as our provincial governor until 2017. I appeal to Hela people that it is very important that that process takes place.
“The immediate family of the late governor appreciates the need for that process to take place.
“We have important issues that have been left for us to attend to.
“Key among them is the (PNG LNG project) benefit split between Hela and Southern Highlands.”
He said a team from Hela including him met a team from Southern Highlands two weeks ago to discuss the split of benefits from the project.
“Sitting at those sorts of discussions, you need a confirmed governor to speak on matters relating to the province.”