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May 18, 2021
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Hela Governor’s Seat Dispute

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Kavieng MP, Ben Micah, in yesterday’s parliament sitting likened the contradictions surrounding the appointment of Philip Undialu as the new Hela Governor to a “soap opera”.

Micah questioned decisions made regarding Undialu’s appointment, following the state solicitors condemnation of the manner in which the Deputy Prime Minister appointed him.

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said all government decisions were made on advice provided, and that corrective measures were already underway.

Micah called on the Prime Minister to clarify who was calling the shots in the decision to appoint a new Hela Governor if the Deputy Prime Minister and state solicitor seemed to be on different pages.

Prime Minister O’Neill explained that the decision was made by the Provincial Affairs Minister, as advised by the Deputy Prime Minister, but would not turn a deaf ear to the arguments raised by the state solicitor.

Micah took a shot at the PNC Party, accusing them of harbouring political interests in influencing the appointment of a new governor, suggesting instead it was in the province’s best interest that the Hela people be given a voice in the decision.

The Prime Minister defended the party, bluntly denying any political interest. He maintained, however, that the by-elections would have to wait until the 2017 National Election on the grounds of time and security constraints.

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