​Undialu: All must follow process

Hela is a new province and all process must be followed, says Koroba-Lake Kopiago MP, Philip Undialu.

This should begin with elections in the provincial assembly because so much is at stake.

Undialu, who is contesting the Hela Regional Seat and has been in and out of court over the governor post, said precedent has to be set to follow the law to be elected governor. 

He made these comments outside the Waigani court precinct following the National Court’s decision, declaring Potape’s election as governor illegal for the third time.

Justice Collin Makail declared Potape’s election on 13 September, 2016, illegal because notices were not served to some members of the Hela Provincial Assembly, thus denying them the right to have a say in the election.

“It’s not about Potape becoming Governor or Undialu becoming governor. We have to set a precedent,   follow the law so any other governors or assembly members to come must follow the law to be elected governor.

“Court have set good precedent that notices must be given for the conduct of assembly meetings according to the standing orders and organic law. The process must be followed,” he said.

Undialu also encouraged Potape to go back to Hela and let the people decide through polling, which is in two weeks’ time.

“Tomorrow I will return home, I will stand as a candidate for the Hela governor’s seat. Potape is also contesting the same seat. We respect the decision of the court, and will contest.

“Elections at home have gone very smooth so far. It’s been very peaceful and I am very happy with the way supporters from both sides have conducted themselves. 

“We have to maintain that spirit till polling,” he added.

Potape is understood to be on a campaign trail. Attempts by this newsroom to get comments from him and his lawyer Philip Ame were unsuccessful. 

(Undialu speaking to supporters outside court yesterday)

Sally Pokiton