Electoral Commission

EC unprepared for trial

The case, which was set for trial today, was further adjourned to Wednesday to allow the Electoral Commission to file the necessary documents.

Lawyer representing the Electoral Commission told Court that they are having trouble obtaining the documents requested by the petitioners.

The documents are locked up in a container.

They consist of the 364 presiding officers’ journals, list of polling schedules, forms 66 A and B showing the 34th and 35th elimination and the list of presiding officers.

K2.39 million needed for recount

Funds are needed by the commission to run the recount within the timeframe given by the National Court to avoid being in contempt.

Budget submissions have been put to the National Executive Council and the Inter-Department Election Committee.

The Electoral Commission told this newsroom K1.3 million is needed to conduct recount for the Central Bougainville seat.

The National Court gave two months from January 30 to do the recount.

Today, March 5 was the date the court ordered for recount to commence; it should end on or before March 17.

EC requests funds for recount

Commissioner Patilias Gamato is out of the country but has submitted a budget request to the Chief Secretary, Isaac Lupari, who is also the chairman for the Inter-Departmental Election Committee (IDEC).

A budget has been drawn up and given to the IDEC, who will liaise with Treasury and Finance to allocate funds for the recount exercise.

Given the timeframe ordered by the National Court for the recount to be carried out, Commissioner Gamato has requested for funding to be made available as soon as possible.

Ensure safe return of SHP ballot boxes: Court

Justice Collin Makail ordered the Electoral Commission to ensure the safe return of the ballot boxes back to Mendi. They were moved to the Mt Hagen Police station following disputes in Mendi town over the prolonged counting.

The orders were issued after two petitions that were filed disputing William Powi’s declaration went to court today for ruling regarding a motion Powi filed.

Yama asks court to refer questions

They filed a motion before the Court of Disputed Returns in the petition that was filed by retired Defense Force commander, Major-General Jerry Singirok, in the 2017 election over the Madang Regional seat.

They asked the National Court to refer questions for determination surrounding the qualification of election runner-up, James Yali, to nominate and stand for election.  

The court told them to draft the proposed questions and have them filed in court this week before the matter returns tomorrow (Friday).

Loop PNG's breakfast bites

Pom residents warned to behave: Police

With only two days left on the calendar, residents in NCD are now looking forward to ending the year and welcoming the New Year, 2018.

MP to focus on Agriculture for South Fly

The member for South-fly Sekie Agisa has outlined some of the major areas in which he will be focusing on during his five years in parliament.

Electoral roll update to be decentralised

The decision to decentralise the electoral roll follows post-election evaluation undertaken by the Electoral Commission.

The post-election evaluation identified some of the challenges and issues the Commission went through in hosting the 2017 National General Elections.

Key recommendations from local and international observers were also considered, prompting the Commission to decentralise the updating of the electoral roll to the provincial level.

Tkatchenko asks court to dismiss petition

This is the first seat that was declared out of the four in the nation’s capital and now the first to go for trial in the Court of Disputed Returns before Justice David Cannings.

Petitioner Samson Kirilyo is challenging Tkatchenko’s election based on the scrutiny process of the Electoral Commission.

The trial commenced with the hearing of two applications, or objections, challenging the competency of the petition.

Tkatchenko’s objection was based on a requirement in the actual filing of the petition.

Conflict in EC legal representation continues

Amongst those petitions that went for directions was that of the North Waghi seat.

Petitioner Mond Palme is alleging grounds of errors and omissions, irregularities and bribery against Dr. Fabian Pok.

Dr Pok’s lawyers have also filed an objection on the competency of the petition, which will be heard next week.

Due to the conflict, the court refused to hear lawyers representing the Electoral Commission until that is sorted out.

Meanwhile, the Hela provincial seat also has an election dispute over it.

Police deaths blamed on EC inconsistency

A disappointed commissioner for police, Gari Baki said all those election issues that have turned to become law and order issues, are results of inconsistency in some of the decisions that were made by the Electoral Commission.

This is by the electoral officials on ground.

“As a result of that, they tend to become law and order problems, and police have to deal with them.”

He said a classical example is the counting of the Southern Highlands boxes being delayed overtime.