Election petition cases

Petitioners seek review in Supreme Court

Francis Potape’s petition was dismissed by the National Court on January 24. He was challenging Philip Undialu’s win as Hela Governor.

He will be seeking leave of the Supreme Court to review the reasons behind the dismissal of his petition next Wednesday.

The grounds of the review are on the basis that the National Court went outside the objection grounds raised by Undialu and made findings on its own.

The high court will hear the review if leave is granted.

The petitioner in the Jimi Open seat has also filed for review in the Supreme Court.

North-Fly petition hearing set

The election of Donald is being disputed in court by Paiyo Bale and Sam Bob Auwi.

A motion by Donald, challenging the competency of the petition Auwi filed, will be heard next week at the Waigani National court. Donald’s motion is on grounds of late filing.

If that motion is unsuccessful and petition survives, other motions on objections will be heard at the commencement of trial.

The petition filed by Bale has been fixed from 1 February to 9 February, 2018, in Kiunga, Western Province.

(James Donald outside the courthouse)

More trial dates for petitions set

They include the two petitions that were filed disputing the election in the Hela regional seat and the Samarai-Murua seat.

The Waigani National Court has joined the two petitions that were filed challenging Philip Undialu’s win as Hela Governor.

Justice Collin Makail issued orders to consolidate the petitions filed by Francis Potape and Dr. Hemia Hewali.

He was of the view they had similar allegations and urged parties to work towards the trial dates.

High court relists Kerema petition

Following the dismissal of the petition in the National Court on October 11, Opa asked the Supreme Court to review the National Court’s decision.

The petition was dismissed after a preliminary issue was raised in a motion by MP Richard Mendani’s lawyer regarding the service of the petition by Opa.

The National Court ruled that Opa filed the petition on September 1, however Mendani was serviced the notice, by way of a published advertisement, one day late in the Post-Courier.

11 out of 79 petitions withdrawn

The latest petition withdrawn is the one filed by Professor Misty Baloiloi challenging the election of Davis Steven as Member for Esa'ala Open.

The matter was to commence trial this week however, was withdrawn by Professor Baloiloi before trial judge Justice Ambeng Kandakasi on Tuesday.

The petition filed challenging Bogia MP Robert Naguri’s election is currently on trial at the Madang National Court before Justice Joseph Yagi.

Maru, supporters restrained

Justice Collin Makail on Thursday granted the order, restraining second term MP, Richard Maru, and his supporters from interfering, intimidating, threatening and assaulting the witnesses Waranaka intends to use in the petition.

This week in review - Court

Liria withdrew the reference, calling for calm, the end of violence, and respect for the rule of law following fighting in Mendi town, the capital of Southern Highlands Province.

He also intends to withdraw the election petition in the court of disputed returns. See more on http://www.looppng.com/png-news/liria-calls-peace-67833

Two more petitions were dismissed from the Court of Disputed Returns this week, even before it reached the trial stages.

Petition challenging Pomat’s win dismissed

Pomat made these comments on Wednesday after the election petition that was filed against him by Wep Kanawi was withdrawn in the Court of Disputed Returns.

He filed the petition based on the grounds of errors and omissions made during the counting period by the Electoral Commission.

The matter went to court on Wednesday for pre-trial conference, to check compliance to directions that were issued on September 20.

However lawyer for the petitioner, Kanawi, asked the court to withdraw the proceeding.

Conflict in EC legal representation continues

Amongst those petitions that went for directions was that of the North Waghi seat.

Petitioner Mond Palme is alleging grounds of errors and omissions, irregularities and bribery against Dr. Fabian Pok.

Dr Pok’s lawyers have also filed an objection on the competency of the petition, which will be heard next week.

Due to the conflict, the court refused to hear lawyers representing the Electoral Commission until that is sorted out.

Meanwhile, the Hela provincial seat also has an election dispute over it.

MPs appeal for calm

Kerema open MP, Richard Mendani and Angoram MP, Salio Waipo have both called on their people not to take matters into their own hands at this time but let the court deal with the petitions.

The two National Alliance Party members, have engaged the service of Tony Waisi, and both were in court today. 

Mendani said he accepts the petition that was filed against him and was confident it will be dismissed.

“There are only three grounds that are raised against me and I’m very confident that they will dismiss the case.