​Court to review date of declaration

The Waigani National Court will be judicially reviewing the declaration date of the Tewae-Siassi seat, after a petition lodged by former MP, Mao Zeming, was refused by the court registry because it was filed late.

Zeming’s lawyer filed an application seeking judicial review of the declaration date.

Justice Collin Makail allowed leave for a review to be conducted because he saw that the issue of the declaration date requires full consideration of the court in a trial.

It was out before the court that the writ that had the declared winner, Dr Kobby Bomareo, was dated 18 July, however the declaration was made one day later.

These two dates are significant for the purpose of calculating the 40 days lodging period of election petitions, as required under the election petition rules when disputing the outcome of an election in court.

The election petition was lodged on 29 August, which was refused by the court registry as it was filed one day late.

The court will now review that declaration date on the writ for the Tewae-Siassi seat, if that 40-day period should be calculated from either July 18 or 19.

The case will return next week for directions before a trial date can be set.

Sally Pokiton