PNG's Hela province to elect governor today

1:59 pm on 13 September 2016

After prolonged court battles, media clashes and several failed assembly meetings, the Papua New Guinea province of Hela is expected to elect a new acting Governor today.

The Post Courier reports lobbying has intensified for the position.

Francis Potape and Philip Undialu are both contesting the seat, left vacant by Anderson Agiru who died in April.

Francis Potape

Francis Potape Photo: EMTV

The National Court in Waigani declared last month's election null and void.

The court also ordered fresh elections and recognised Mt Bosavi president Efala Bape and Hulia president Eric Yawas as members of the provincial assembly with voting powers.

Mr Potape welcomed the court's decision, saying he was prepared to work with anyone mandated by the majority to lead the province over the next eight months before the 2017 General Election.

Supporters say Mr Potape has a majority eight members of the 13 member provincial assembly in his camp now that Tebi president Thomas Tawi crossed over to join him.

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