Court refuses to stay re-count

The Electoral Commission has one week left to re-count ballot boxes in the 2012 Kandep Open seat elections and present the results to the Waigani National Court.

The Supreme Court today refused to allow a Slip Rule application that was filed by sitting Kandep MP, Don Polye to proceed to a hearing.

Polye filed the slip rule application asking the court to revisit its decision of Sept 6, alleging the court fell into error when it issued an order for a re-count.

On May 2, the National Court ordered a count of 5 disputed ballot boxes from the areas of  Lungutenges No.1, Kombros No.1, Kambia No. 1, Maru and Imipaka however the Full court on Sept 6 varied that order, and told the Electoral Commission to conduct a re-count in 30 days.

Polye’s lawyer argued in court on Tuesday that appropriate step was for the Supreme Court to order for counting to continue from the 5 disputed boxes and if need be go into the elimination as per section 212(1)(d) of the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Government elections.

Sitting as a single Supreme Court judge, Justice Allan David refused to allow Polye’s Slip Rule application to be heard on ground it did not have a strong chance of success.

He refused to allow the Slip Rule to be heard and also refused to stay the recount that the full bench had ordered earlier.

With both applications filed by Polye refused, the re-count is now expected to continue in Wabag.

The Supreme Court on Sept 6 ordered the Electoral Commission to conduct a re-count of ballot boxes within 30 days, that 30-day period will end on Oct 6.


(Picture: File Picture of votes counting room after election polling in Papua New Guinea. Source



Sally Pokiton