Petition against Sungi dismissed

The Waigani National Court has found an election petition that was filed by Andrew Kumbakor incompetent, dismissing it.

Kumbakor filed the petition on August 30, disputing Joe Sungi's re-election as Nuku MP.

Sungi was declared member elect on July 20th.

His lawyer filed a motion, objecting the petition saying it was incompetent because it was filed late.

The two issues brought to court in that motion was that two public holidays fell between that period of declaration and the date the petition was filed.

The public holidays were Remembrance and Repentance day respectively. 

To file an election petition, it must be done within 40 days after the declaration date.

Justice Leka Nablu, in giving her ruling today on the motion said it was an issue of calculation, as to whether the 40 days period includes weekends and public holidays.

Basing her ruling on the assistance of previous judgments provided by Sungi’s lawyer and section 208 (e) of the Organic Law, Justice Nablu said that 40 day period includes gazetted public holidays and weekends. 

She said by filing the petition on 30 August, Kumbakor filed it on the 41st day thus is one day late and incompetent.

The court ordered the dismissal of the petition and for Kumbakor to pay cost.

Meantime his lawyer has indicated seeking instructions on whether or not they will be appealing against this decision.  

(Joe Sungi outside court today.)

Sally Pokiton