Eighteen LLG Presidents of Southern Highlands Province were sworn into the Provincial Assembly last Friday with an interim Provincial Executive Council (PEC) appointed.
This is the first time the assembly has met since the 2017 National Elections that drew countless election related violence and disputes.
Out of the eighteen, Lower Mendi and Imbongu LLGs were not sworn in as there are still counting discrepancies that will be looked into by the Department of Provincial Affairs.
Southern Highlands Governor William Powi who is also the Chair of the Provincial Assembly was keen to see his PEC sworn in as the Provincial Government has not been able to perform due to election related disputes.
“I’ve been tied and couldn’t perform my duty as Governor for almost 2 years. But now I am free and I want to get down to business in performing my duties as Governor,”
Powi was referring to the 2017 National Election petition against his declaration that resulted in one of the country’s worst election related disputes and violence ever. An Air Niugini aircraft was burnt, including two court houses and a number of deaths that drew the world’s attention.
That aside, Governor Powi is now looking towards rebuilding Southern Highlands. He announced key infrastructure projects that will be announced by Prime Minister James Marape when he visits the Province next month.
“The Prime Minister will visit Southern Highlands next month, and we will announce some major development projects. I want the PEC to perform and institutionalize the Government system. Let’s show the world that we are doing something for Southern Highlands,” Powi said.
By Stanley Ove Jnr – EMTV News, Port Moresby