PM seeks joinder in OC reference

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has instructed his lawyers to move an application seeking joinder in the reference that was filed in July by the Ombudsman Commission over the electoral process.

This special reference first went before court on July 28, where the Ombudsman Commission obtained an extension on the return of writs to ensure the remaining electorates’ writs can be returned, and elected MPs can have a say in the election of the Speaker of Parliament and Prime Minister.

PM’s lawyer Desmond Kipa, of Twivey Lawyers, told the Supreme Court that application to intervene was filed on September 14.

The Attorney General and Electoral Commission have been listed as parties in this reference however, they have not filed any appearance since being served on October 13 following direction of the court.

Counsel to the Ombudsman Commission, Dr Vergil Narokobi, indicated they will be opposing the PM’s application to intervene in the reference.

This special reference seeks the court’s interpretation of the Constitution’s section 50(1) on the Right To Vote And Stand For Public Office, section 104 (2)(b) on Normal Term Of Office, or when a seat of an MP becomes vacant, section 105 (3) on General Elections, and section 124 (1) on the calling of parliament to fix return date after return of writ.

It will also seek the court’s interpretation of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Election, section 97 on Address of Returns and section 177 on Extension of time by the head of state on advice of Electoral Commission.




Sally Pokiton