By LUKE KAMA
PRESIDENT of the Hulia local-level government in Hela Luke Panguma was unanimously appointed deputy governor by the provincial assembly in its first 2019 meeting yesterday.
Panguma replaces Komo LLG president Thomas Potape, who was the pioneer deputy governor of the Hela province.
Potape was elected unopposed in Dec 2012 under the leadership of former Hela Governor, the late Anderson Agiru.
Potape, who was present at the meeting, accepted the decision and congratulated Panguma on his election.
He also accepted the fact that he missed five consecutive assembly meetings since 2017.
Under the Organic Law on Provincial and Local-Level Government Affairs and Assembly Standing Orders, any assembly members missing three consecutive meetings is disqualified from being an assembly member.
Hela Governor Philip Undialu, while welcoming and congratulating Panguma on his election, thanked Potape for his leadership and understanding.
“Whatever differences in the past are gone,” he said.
“We now have to stand united as one to provide leadership and bring change and much-needed services to our people.”
Undialu said the assembly, in its powers under the Organic Law, also resolved to allow Potape be a member of the assembly.
This was after he was automatically disqualified to be an assembly member because he failed to attend five assembly meetings since 2017.
By LUKE KAMA