Recount for Simbu regional

A recount has been ordered by the National Court for the Simbu Regional seat after petitioner Noah Kool successfully took the election results and Michael Dua to court through the petition.

Dua however remains Governor of Simbu Province, pending the final result of the recount, which should be presented back to the National Court by February 8, 2019, for ratification.

Kool’s petition alleged illegal practices and errors or omission attributed to counting officials at the counting centre at Dickson oval, Kundiawa, between 7 July and 7 August last year.

Dua scored 79,839 votes while 68,768 votes were collected by Kool, who alleged there was lack of public viewing of exhausted ballot papers by scrutineers before they were put away while some ballot papers were even misplaced by counting officials.

After hearing evidence at trial, Justice Collin Makail found the counting process was riddled with irregularities, errors and omissions which was sufficient for the court to exercise its discretion and order a recount.

Recount must be completed by the Electoral Commission by 7 February, with a counting venue to be fixed by the Returning Officer, outside of Simbu Province, by counting officials who were not previously engaged in the elections.

To maintain the status quo, Dua remains as Simbu Governor till the completion of recount and presentation of the results to the court for consideration.

Further hearing of the matter, outlining the recount result will be presented on 8, February next year.

(Loop filepic)

Sally Pokiton