Jimi Open petition fails to meet requirements

Another election petition has yet again been dismissed on competency grounds because the petition failed to meet essential requirements in the 2017 election petition rules.

The petition disputing Wake Goi’s election as Jimi MP was thrown out of the Waigani National Court on Friday.

Justice Ellenas Batari found the petition incompetent because petitioner Mai Dop failed to comply with Form 1 of the 2017 election petition rules.

That form should contain details (name, occupation and address) of two attesting witnesses when the petition is filed in court disputing an election.

He explained the strict compliance requirement of section 208 (a) and (d) of the Organic Law (the requirement of two attesting witnesses in any petition) must be complied with to show that a petition is genuine.

He said failure to comply with one or all of the requirements must render the petition incompetent.

The same two witnesses must sign and attest Form 1 and in this case, there was no reference to show compliance with the substantial requirement (Form 1) in the 2017 election petition rules to make the petition genuine.

Justice Batari dismissed the petition accordingly, ordering the petitioner to pay the MP and the Electoral Commission’s legal cost.

Wake was declared ahead of Mai Dop, who held the seat from 2012 with 14,460 votes, passing the absolute majority of 13,450. Dop was the runner-up with 12,438. 

Sally Pokiton