By-election court order being studied

The Electoral Commission says it is studying the initial court order of the Goroka by-election.

This follows the National Court order on February 7th, ordering the first by-election from disputed results of the 2017 national election.

A Supreme Court appeal is most likely to be filed by the PNG Electoral Commission within 14-21 days as of the date of the decision.

While that is being pursued, the Commission will put together the costs for the by-election and submit to the Government for funding.

The Electoral Commission says there are very interesting findings in the preliminary studies of the court orders that warrant an appeal in the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, February 7th, the National Court was unable to verify and declare a winner from the judicial recount, after the counting officials, through the Returning officer, in an affidavit to the court admitted they could not locate and remove 775 ballot papers, as ordered by the court.

The results of the recount remained the same as the 2017 results.

Because of this, Henry Tutume Ame’s election was declared void and a by-election ordered.

The court was not able to declare a winner because the 775 informal votes were not removed before the recount.

The Electoral Commission was ordered to pay for the cost of the court proceeding and conduct the by-election as soon as possible.

(Henry Tutume Ame outside the courthouse last week)

Sally Pokiton