​Court refuses Polye’s application

With elimination still underway in Wabag for the Kandep Open seat, incumbent MP Don Polye’s bid to have the court issue orders to have all remaining ballot boxes counted was refused on Friday.

Polye’s lawyer asked the Waigani National Court to issue orders for the Kandep returning officer to have certain ballot boxes counted before declaration.

Those ballot boxes were set aside during scrutiny and Polye, in a statement that was produced in court, said those boxes were not objected by either polling officials or scrutineers.

He asked the court to compel the returning officer, Ben Besawe, to comply with a direction of the Electoral Commissioner to have them all admitted for counting. This direction was later retracted by the commissioner.

The Electoral Commission opposed the application, saying Polye as a candidate was not present in the counting venue and what he is telling the court through his statement is hearsay evidence.

The appropriate people to give evidence would be the scrutineers or polling officials who were present in the counting venue.

The Court refused the application and the orders Polye was asking from the court.

Justice Derek Hartshorn agreed that Polye’s evidence in his statement was hearsay.

He said Polye is not left without recourse, he can still file an election petition on errors and omission on the part of electoral officials.

Polye will be paying the cost.

Sally Pokiton