Motions on election matters withdrawn

A number of motions filed in the National Court, seeking interim orders, were withdrawn by lawyers acting on the applicants today.

The first was filed on July 8 by a candidate in the Southern Highlands regional seat, Sylvester Harry Komba, against Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.

The matter was filed in relation to counting of certain disputed ballot boxes from the Nipa-Kutubu area.

Komba’s lawyer appeared before Justice Collin Makail today and said he will no longer be asking the court for interim orders but wait for the substantive matter, which is related to the issue of polling on Sunday.

A reference seeking the interpretation of Section 130 of the Constitution (Sunday Polling) is before the Supreme Court. It will return to court at the end of the month.

The case filed by Hela Regional seat candidate, Dr. Hewali Hamiya’s motion against Commissioner Gamato, also went before the court this morning.

The case involving disputed ballot boxes from the Koroba-Lake Kopiago area, where Dr. Hamiya filed an urgent application to ask the court to restrain 32 disputed ballot boxes from being counted.

His lawyer was told by Justice Makail last week to follow the electoral process and object disputed ballot boxes to the respective returning officers, as per section 153 (a) of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government elections, before they run to the court seeking injunctive orders.

The objection was made to the returning officer in the Hela Regional seat as advised, but counting went ahead.

Dr Hamiya’s lawyer today asked the court to withdraw the motion as it was no longer an issue. The court allowed for its withdrawal.

Another motion that was filed seeking interim orders that was withdrawn in court today was that filed by lawyers representing former member for Namatanai, Byron Chan.

Sally Pokiton