Recount ordered for North Fly

A recount has been ordered into the election results of the North Fly electorate in Western Province.

The National Court in Kiunga ordered for a re-count to be done within the next two months for all LLGs in the district, except the ballot boxes for team 26, 27, 28 and 29 from the Nomad LLG.

The orders were made following trial in Kiunga from the petition third runner-up Paiyo Bale filed.

James Donald will remain Member of North Fly Open electorate until the completion of the re-count of ballot papers and presentation of result for approval by the Court.

He has issued an appeal to everyone in the district to remain calm and respect the Court orders.

“I have no hard feelings against the petitioner and make welcome the Court orders and remain humbled to cooperate and focus on re-count,” he said after the ruling.

The petition went to trial and was upheld on grounds the Nomad LLG is under the Middle Fly Electorate and ballot boxes from that area should not have been counted.  

The court also found errors and omission by Electoral Commission staff who admitted into scrutiny ballot boxes from the Nomad LLG.

The results of the recount are to be presented to court within two months, by Monday 16 April at the Waigani National Court.

The security deposit in the sum of K5,000 held by the Registrar of the National Court will be refunded to the petitioner, Paiyo Bale.

Donald and Electoral Commission will pay the costs of the petition, to be taxed, if not agreed.

(File picture of Donald at Waigani National Court)

Sally Pokiton