Maprik petition challenged

Two objections challenging the competency of the petition that is disputing John Simon’s Maprik election were heard at the Waigani National Court today.

Justice Derek Hartshorn heard submissions from lawyers representing John Simon and the Electoral Commission and reserved his ruling for a later date.

Petitioner and lawyer, Vincent Alois Hamiya, who finished fourth in the election race, is alleging numerous instances of bribery and illegal practice by successful candidate Simon.

He filed the petition on 30 August last year. Simon was declared on 22 July.

The court was addressed on two motions challenging that petition today.

Simon’s lawyer, Tony Waisi, told the court the petition failed to state or give specifics of voters, which his client and his campaign coordinators are alleged to have bribed.

He asked the court to dismiss the petition and stop it from proceeding to trial, where evidence will be called because of the wide allegations which lacked specifics.

The Electoral Commission also moved its objection on the same grounds.

The petition was set for hearing from December 11-17, 2017, in Wewak. However, it was deferred.

(Maprik MP John Simon)

Sally Pokiton