Court refuses to restrain O'Neill

The Waigani National Court has refused and dismissed an application asking it to stop Peter O'Neill from taking office after the return of writ.

Runner-up in the Ialibu-Pangia seat, Stanley Liria, filed an urgent application to restrain O'Neill from making declaration of loyalty and taking office in Parliament tomorrow.

He alleges that he was denied his constitutional rights, saying polling was conducted on Sunday.

The application was refused and dismissed because the court saw that the primary issue - Sunday polling - that was raised by Liria in this National Court case is the same issue he had earlier raised in the Supreme Court.

The court saw that the issue of Sunday polling was still under consideration of the Supreme Court when Liria went ahead and also filed this National Court case.

The restraining orders were refused and the case adjourned pending the outcome of the Supreme Court Reference.

Substantively, Liria is asking the court to declare that the public declaration of Peter O'Neill was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court Reference is seeking interpretation of section 130 (1)(b) of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Election.

The Supreme Court Reference will return to court for further directions on August 14.

Sally Pokiton