First election petition trial date set

The election petition filed challenging Member for Moresby South Justin Tkatchenko’s win has been listed to go for trial.

This is the first election petition, out of the 77 that were initially filed, to have its trial date set in the Court of Disputed Returns.

Justice Collin Makail set the petition for a week trial next month after it went for pre-trial conference today.

Filed by Samson Kirilyo, the trial will be heard at Waigani National Court buildings from November 20-24.

Returning Officer for the Moresby South electorate, Michael Are, has been summoned to give evidence in the trial, amongst others.

Petitioner Kirilyo is alleging Are was a serving member of the PNGDF at the time of his appointment. This will be one of the issues the trial will look into.

He has filed 63 witness statements while Minister Tkatchenko’s lawyers have filed 10 witness statements.

The Electoral Commission is to provide tally sheets of the counting for the trial.

An objection filed challenging the competency of the petition will be heard on November 20.

A status conference will be held on November 15 to check compliance of orders. 

Sally Pokiton