OC bids to stay nomination fee increase

An application filed by the Ombudsman Commission seeking to restrain Parliament from further debating the proposed amendments to increase election nomination fees will be heard next week in the Supreme Court.

Lawyer representing Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was allowed to join as a party or intervener in the reference on Thursday when the matter came before a three-man Supreme Court bench.

The application was listed to be moved in court however it was adjourned to next week because the Prime Minister’s lawyer was yet to see the Hansard or the official recording of Parliament session on January 26.

That Hansard contains the recording of when the first reading took place in Parliament (on Jan 26) on the proposal to increase the election nomination fees from K1,000 to K10,000, and the security of costs of an election petition from K5,000 to K20,000.

The second reading took place on Feb 1 in Parliament and the first vote transpired in favour of the amendment. The final reading is yet to take place and the constitution amounts that the last reading must take place two months after the second reading.

Since the matter was last mentioned on Feb 13, possible interested parties; The Speaker of Parliament, the Attorney General, Electoral Commission and chairman of the Constitutional Law and Reforms Commission were served the reference.

Of the four, Lawyer representing chairman of the Constitutional Law and Reforms Commission appeared in court yesterday.

In the application, the Ombudsman Commission is asking the Supreme Court to issue interim orders to restrain further deliberation on the proposed amendments until the Reference is heard and deliberated upon by the Court.

In this reference, the OC wants to find out whether the proposed increase of nomination fees, from K1,000 to K10,000, and the security of costs of an election petition, from K5,000 to K20,000, are constitutional.

The case will return to court next week Monday where the application is expected to be moved.







Sally Pokiton