Rigo petition dismissed

Another petition has been stopped from going to trial in the National Court.

The election petition disputing Lekwa Gure’s election as Rigo member was dismissed today for being incompetent.

The Waigani National Court dismissed the petition that was filed by former member, Ano Pala, on grounds of bribery and errors and omission during counting.

Gure and the Electoral Commission challenged the competency of the petition, which was upheld.

The sitting MP told the court the petition did not plead facts required by section 208 of the organic law and that the petition lacked facts or particulars to support the bribery allegations.

The court found the petition did not state who the recipients were of a K100 to a rugby club and the intention of bribery could not be proven.  

On the allegation of envelopes with money distributed, there were also no facts stated in the petition to show the alleged distribution was done on the knowledge and authority of Gure.

The Electoral Commission said the petition stated incorrect projecting figures of votes and it was also not stated in the petition to show that 100 voting papers with butts attached were illegally cast.

These pleading in the petition was found by the court to be misconceived as it did not relate to any ground.

There were also allegations raised on incorrect tally totals but it was not stated in the petition to show that scrutineers raised objection to the tally during counting.

The court found there was also speculated projection of voting numbers, and dismissed the petition.

(Lekwa Gure in parliament last year)

Sally Pokiton