Court: Amaiu’s petition not filed late

The petition that was filed by Labi Amaiu, disputing the election of Moresby North-East MP, John Kaupa, was filed in time and the Court of Disputed Returns will set trial dates next month.

Kaupa filed an application on Oct 18 seeking dismissal of the entire proceeding, claiming the petition was filed one day late.

Today the National Court refused that application, allowing the petition to stay alive because it was filed on time.

To file an election petition, it must be done within 40 days after the declaration date.

Kaupa was declared on July 28. Amaiu filed the petition on 6 September.

Justice Collin Makail, in giving his ruling on the motion, said the petition was filed within the 40-day period after the declaration date.

He said the public holiday on August 24 (National Repentance Day) does not affect the calculation as the petition was filed on the 40th day.

The petition will return to court on November 28 for pre-trial conference.

Trial dates will be set then.

(Member for Moresby North-East, John Kaupa)

Sally Pokiton