Kandep petition goes to trial

The Kandep petition will go to trial at the Waigani National Court.

The National Court yesterday delivered its ruling on two objection motions filed by sitting MP, Alfred Manasseh, and the Electoral Commission.

The court found there are valid grounds to test the allegations at trial.

The petition will proceed to trial after it survived two motions challenging its competency.

Eight of the 10 grounds pleaded in the petition will go for trial. 

  • One instance of bribery alleging K1,000 cash was given by Manasseh on July 8, at ward 28 to a Wita Henry;
  • Four instances of undue influence, alleging threats and force were used by supporters of candidates. A ground (point) like bribery to invalidate an election, the allegations will be tested at trial.
  • The third ground is on illegal practice by other candidates, their servants and agents will also go for trial. Here five allegations of hijacking ballot boxes will be tested.
  • The failure to allow all candidates’’ scrutineers the opportunity to observe the scrutiny process,
  • Failure by the Electoral Commission to produce security at different locations in Kandep during polling,
  • Counting of hijacked ballot boxes,
  • Apprehension of bias by the Returning Officer, and
  • Ground alleging errors and omission in counting will go for trial.

Parties will return to court next week Monday.

Meanwhile, Manasseh said he will continue to deliver service in Kandep.

Both leaders appealed for peace to be maintained in Kandep.

(Kandep MP Alfred Manasseh filepic)

Sally Pokiton