NA meets to pick Highlands leader

National, Normal

The National

THE Highlands faction of National Alliance (NA) party  is expected to meet today to elect an interim deputy leader to replace Don Polye.
Councillors from Western Highlands have tossed around some names, including Internal Security Minister Sani Rambi and Education Minister James Marape.
Mr Marape, who is also the MP for Tari-Pori, said yesterday it was an in-house matter for the party to resolve.
“I have never publicly announced my intention but if I am nominated I will accept,” he said, adding that it would only be an interim arrangement until such time the Member for Kandep was decided in a by-election.
Mr Polye was declared the MP for Kandep in the 2007 general election but a court recently declared his victory null and void.
As a result, Mr Polye was also relieved of his position as NA deputy leader and Minister for Works & Transport and Civil Aviation.
Mr Marape said normal party protocol would take precedent and he appealed to all supporters to remain united.
“Anyone of the nine of us is capable of filling the vacancy. It’s a very challenging job but one which I am prepared to accept if given the opportunity to lead,” he said.
He said the Highlands region and the country were facing a very crucial period especially with the development of the LNG project which would transform the economy.
“I believe the party will elect a very capable leader from among its ranks.”