Namah voted Governor of PNG's West Sepik province

4:11 pm on 23 April 2015

The Vanimo MP Belden Namah has been elected Governor of West Sepik province after a two year vacancy in the position.

Vanimo MP Belden Namah

Vanimo MP Belden Namah is West Sepik Governor-elect Photo: RNZ / Alex Smith

The governor's seat was left vacant after the Supreme Court in 2013 ruled out the 2012 national election victory of Amkat Mai and called for by-election which is still pending.

Although the former provincial administrator Paul Nengai has been filling the role in an acting capacity, in recent months Mr Namah has been lobbying for the position to be occupied more permanently.

The Post Courier reports that this week, local level government (LLG) presidents from West Sepik districts met and made the move to elect Mr Namah as the new governor for the province which is also known as Sandaun.

It is understood that the vacancy could only be filled by a Member of Parliament and no one else.

Local Government Council, Vanimo, West Sepik.

Vanimo Local Level Government headquarters - West Sepik's LLG leaders met to elect the Vanimo MP as Provincial Governor Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Mr Namah, who was deposed as PNG's parliamentary opposition leader late last year, was sworn in yesterday as the duly elected governor.

The swearing-in was conducted by senior provincial magistrate Imnkuna Sasa in a special ceremony held at the provincial government house in Vanimo, witnessed by more than 100 people.

Mr Namah thanked the people of Vanimo, especially the LLG presidents, for having the leadership trust and confidence in him to serve the people.

The PNG Party leader said as the newly appointed governor, his focus would be on building infrastructure for the province and also in ensuring much needed services are delivered to the people.

It is understood that Mr Namah would be caretaker governor until a by-election for the regional seat is conducted and the winner declared.

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