2016 Kandep Open election review case

Court to give Kandep applications ruling

The Slip rule application filed by sitting Kandep MP, Don Polye is asking the Full court to revisit its decision from Sept 6.

Polye is also asking the Court to stay the re-count of those boxes.

Submissions were made in court today on whether a Single judge has jurisdiction to stay a re-count pending the hearing of the Slip rule application if it is allowed to be heard by the full court. 

That re-count commenced in Wabag town today at 10am as per orders of the Supreme Court on Sept 6 for the Electoral Commission to conduct a re-count of ballot boxes within 30 days.

Kassman tells lawyer to have professional courtesy

Justice Stephen Kassman made the comments after Alfred Luke Manase’s lawyer, Christine Copland, told the court they were not notified of the urgent application coming to Court on Sunday nor yesterday morning.

They became aware of the urgent application returning via newspaper reports describing it as an ambush on the part of Polye’s lawyer, Paulus Doa.

Doa, who was out of Port Moresby on the weekend, had another lawyer, John Napu, step in for him on Sunday, making an appearance before Justice Kassman. Polye was also in court on Sunday at 1.30pm with Napu.

Judge made error in granting relief, court told

The Kandep Open seat election petition review hearing took place before a three-judge Supreme Court bench. This happened after the court refused a letter from Polye, requesting one of the judges on the bench to disqualify herself from hearing the case.

The hearing took place this afternoon and a decision was reserved to a later date.

Polye’s lawyer, Paulus Doa, told the court the trial judge made an error when he set aside Polye’s election on May 2.

He said the judge did not make any finding of facts or reason out why he set aside Polye’s election.

Kandep trial expected to resume today

The trial was adjourned from last week Monday after it was brought to the court’s attention that the consolidated review books did not contain a court transcript.

Parties in the trial are expected to appear before Justices Allan David, Jacinta Murray and Frazer Pitpit for hearing.

The consolidated Election Petition Reviews were filed by political rivals, Don Polye and Alfred Luke Manase. Both contested for the Kandep Open seat in the 2012 General Elections.