Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

PNG’s Hela Provincial Assembly has voted in Francis Potape as the new Governor for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) rich territory.

The Komo-Magarima MP was elected by nine out of the 13 assembly members. But in the absence of assembly members James Marape, Philip Undialu and two other presidents.

An elated Potape said his priority was to restore unity among leaders and the people in the province.

“Also on my priority list is to restore peace and good order amid the lawlessness in the province as tribal fighting continues to plague the communities,” said Potape.

Koroba Lake Kopiago MP Philip Undialu who was not present at the assembly meeting said, the meeting was illegal, in breach of the leadership code and against the decision of the court.

“As per the recent court orders, a time, date and venue of the meeting was to be announced by the assembly clerk.”

But Undialu said the clerk was in Port Moresby and questioned who gave authorisation for the meeting.

However, Potape stands firm that his election was proper and that Undialu was informed of the meeting but refused to attend.