NCD regional petitions dismissed

Two election petitions disputing Powes Parkop’s win as NCD regional MP were dismissed on Friday.

The National Court dismissed Andy Bawa and Michael Kandiu’s petitions, stopping it from advancing to full trial after it failed the test of competency.

Both election petitions claimed that Parkop’s declaration was done before he attained an absolute majority.  

Kandiu complained on the lack of proper scrutiny however, the National Court saw that he did not demonstrate that the results of the poll were likely to be affected.

“None of the irregularities alleged by the petitioner are at all likely to have prevented the first respondent (Parkop) from attaining an absolute majority of votes,” Justice Terrence Higgins said in his ruling.

The court also found that Bawa did not determine any link between the alleged error and the final result in the petition.

“It follows, however, that the petition of Mr Bawa must be dismissed on the simple ground that the case he pleads, even if proved, would not suffice to invalidate the declared result of the election.

“The petition is therefore fundamentally flawed,” Justice Higgins further said.

The National Court dismissed the petition, stopping it from going to trial because it was found incompetent.

Parties will return to court this week to argue cost.

Outside court, both petitioners said their lawyers will study the ruling of the court and advise them if there are grounds to file a review in the Supreme Court.

They maintained the 2017 National General Election was one of the worst the country has seen, and the effect was seen in Mendi on Thursday, in the Southern Highlands regional petition, because the people are frustrated.

The Southern Highlands Regional seat petition was also dismissed on Thursday on technical grounds in the competency stage.

Sally Pokiton