16 petitions dismissed from court

A total of 16 election petition matters filed in the Court of Disputed Returns have been dismissed so far by the National Court.

This is out of the 79 petitions that were filed last year.

From the 79 petitions, 12 were withdrawn or discontinued during directions hearing, leaving 67 for trial. 16 have been dismissed for being incompetent. 51 petitions now remain in court.

So far only two petitions have progressed to trial and have been successful. These are the Central Bougainville and North Fly petitions which saw the National Court order re-counts of ballot papers. 

The 16 dismissed for being incompetent include Moresby South, Bogia, Abau, Gumine, Maprik, Nuku, Kavieng, Wewak, Kerowagi, Ijivitari, Gazelle, Moresby North-West, Aitape-Lumi, Jimi, Rigo and Hela Regional.

Kerema open petition was dismissed for late filing but was later reinstated by the Supreme Court.

Francis Potape’s petition over the Hela Regional seat will be reviewed by the Supreme Court after leave was granted yesterday. The other petition filed by Dr Hewali Hemia went for directions today and will progress to trial soon.

Leave is also being sought for the Supreme Court to review the dismissal of Jimi open petition. 

Sally Pokiton