Hela Governor seat

Potabe takes charge of Hela

Deputy Governor, Thomas Potabe now takes charge of the province and will call a provincial executive council meeting this Thursday before an assembly is conducted next week Tuesday to appoint a new governor.

Potape is optimistic to return as the duly elected governor of the province after the court also gave clear directions on who the legitimate members of the provincial assembly are.

Court: No by-Election for Hela

The Waigani National Court handed down its decision this afternoon on the case filed by Hela businessman Larry Andagali.

Andagali filed the case over the Electoral Commission’s delay in conducting a by-election for the Governor’s seat following the passing of the late Governor Anderson Agiru on April 28.

The court found and declared that the office of the Governor became vacant on April 28, however, it refused to order a by-election, four months on since the death of the late Agiru.

Court to hear Potape’s motion on Aug 25

Potape and his lawyer appeared before Justice Collin Makail on Friday morning seeking interim orders to have the court recognise him as Hela Governor and Thomas Potape as deputy governor.

The motion also seeks to restrain member Koroba-Lake Kopiagio, Philip Undialu, from acting as Governor. Undialu was purportedly elected governor by the Provincial Assembly on the morning of July 5.

Potape’s notice of motion filed on Aug 9 did not proceed to be heard today.

Hela crowd swamp Waigani court house

They gathered outside the court house today hoping to be the first to hear the outcome of the National Court’s decision over who will be the governor of the province.

Crowds of supporters gathered under the trees near the Court house gate entrance while another group gathered at the car park.

Police presence was also heavy outside the court house gate checking cars going in.