Featured Highlands News Your Vote 2017

Court Rules Potape’s Election as Hela Governor Invalid

The Waigani National Court has declared the declaration of Komo Magarima MP, Francis Potape as Hela Governor in 2016, null and void.

The ruling made by Justice Colin Makail was based on grounds that the procedure used in electing Potape was illegal.

This means Hela province will be without a Governor until the return of writs.

This is the third time, a decision over the battle of the Hela Governor’s seat was made by the Waigani National Court.

Following claims by Komo Magarima MP, Franics Potape that the late governor, Anderson Aigiru was not performing his duties, the matter was pursued in court to elect a new governor.

In December 2015, Potape was elected as Hela Governor, however on June 14th 2016, a National Court ruling stated ordered that the procedure used in electing Potape was unconstitutional and did not follow the Assembly’s Standing orders.

Between July and September 2016, there were a number of meetings held by members of the Hela Provincial Assembly.

In the first meeting, Potape was elected as Governor while the second meeting, declared Philip Undialu also as the Hela Governor.

This matter was again taken to the courts.

In September 2016, a National Court Order refused both Potape and Undialu as Hela Governor.

The decision also made by Justice Colin Makail, was based on grounds that both meetings held by members of the Hela Provincial Assembly were a breach of the Provincial and Local Level Government Act.

In court this morning, Justice Makail ruled that the appointment of Potape, following that decision was illegal.

This now means, Hela will be without a governor until after the elections.

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