Power tussle in PNG's Hela remains undecided

8:25 pm on 7 January 2016

The National Court in Papua New Guinea has reserved its decision on whether the ousting of the Governor of Hela Province was legal.

Hela province, Papua New Guinea.

Hela province, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Anderson Agiru hopes to be reinstated after he was ousted by the provincial assembly in a vote of no confidence two weeks ago and replaced by MP Francis Potape.

The Post Courier reports that Mr Agiru's lawyer, Goiye Gileng, told the court that Mr Potape's appointment was illegal.

He said the assembly meeting to appoint Mr Potape was not held at the provincial assembly, but at a hotel in Tari, and some assembly members were not served a notice of the meeting.

However, Mr Potape's lawyer told the court that his appointment was legal, and proper process was followed.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has called for a truce, telling the two sides to put aside their disagreements and work together to put the people of Hela first.