Provincial dispute comes to a head in Goroka

11:27 am on 6 August 2015
Eastern Highlands Provincial Headquarters, Goroka, Papua New Guinea.

Eastern Highlands Provincial Headquarters, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Annell Husband

The Goroka MP Bire Kimisopa has appealed for calm in an intensifying standoff over who holds the office of provincial administrator in Papua New Guinea's Eastern Highlands.

The Post Courier reports that the tussle saw Goroka, the provincial capital, come under siege on Monday.

Supporters of incumbent Solomon Tato, who was appointed by the National Executive Council as permanent provincial administrator late last year clashed with the offsiders of provincial executive council-appointed administrator Samson Akunai as the two vyed to take office at the Yanepa provincial administration building.

The matter of who is administrator is to return to court next Friday.

Mr Kimisopa has urged the Eastern Highlands Governor Julie Soso to bury the hatchet and work closely with the national government for the betterment of the province.

He is concerned about the negative image being projected of the province, calling it unhealthy and detrimental at a time when Goroka and Eeastern Highlands Province are preparing for major developments.

Together with Port Moresby and Kokopo, Goroka is due to co-host the 2018 APEC Leaders Summit.