Pala disputes Gure’s win

Former Rigo MP, Ano Pala, is disputing the win of Lekwa Gure in the 2017 national elections in the court of disputed returns.

Pala has filed a petition alleging two counts of bribery against Gure and grounds of errors and omissions against the Electoral Commission. This was during the scrutiny process at the Kwikila counting hall.

He anticipates bringing 15 witnesses for the trial while the first term MP and retired airline captain, Gure, is expected to have his lawyers file an objection on the competency of the petition.

Directions have been issued by the court to prepare it to go for trial while a date is yet to be set.

To the Milne Bay Province, Bade Tomokita has filed a petition disputing the re-election of Douglas Tomuriesa in the Kiriwina-Goodenough seat.

Tomokita is alleging 10 counts of bribery against Tomuriesa and one count of errors and omission against the Electoral Commission.

The captain of a navy ship that was used to transport passengers between Lousia to Alotau has been summoned, on the request of the petitioner, to be in court for the trial.

Tomuriesa’s lawyer indicated in court he will also be filing an objection challenging the competency of the petition.

And to the Western Province, six witnesses will be called in the petition filed over the North-Fly seat by Paiyo Bale.

Bale is alleging errors and omission on the part of the Electoral Commission during both polling and counting, which resulted in the declaration of James Donald.

The Electoral Commission has been ordered to provide the electoral roll of the North-Fly electorate, number of used and unused ballot papers as well as ballot box seals.

Members of the Provincial Election Steering Committee have been summoned to appear in court for the trial.

Donald intends to call four witnesses in response to the petition.

All these petitions have gone for direction hearing to assist parties prepare themselves for the trial and will return to court next month, where a trial date will be set.

(Loop file pic of Ano Pala)

Sally Pokiton