election petition

Recount ordered for Goroka open

The election of Henry Tutowo Ame was disputed by former MP and petitioner Bire Kimisopa.

Errors and omission by Electoral Commission officials saw the petition upheld after trial was conducted in Goroka.

775 ballot papers from the Eastern Highlands Regional box that were misplaced were declared informal by the court today.

Recount will commence from Elimination 1 to 28. All ballot boxes will be held in custody of the Eastern Highlands Provincial Police Commander until recount commences.

Chan seeks review of petition dismissal

However, his lawyers are yet to receive a written ruling from the trial judge, who decided on the petition in order to file the application for leave.

Chan’s lawyers told the Supreme Court yesterday (April 13) they are yet to receive the written ruling outlining the reasons for the dismissal.

They intend to seek leave of the court to review the dismissal but require the written ruling.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, sitting as single Supreme Court judge, extended the time for Chan to move his application to April 27.

Muthuvel citizenship status a ‘wild’ allegation

The second term MP had the petition against him dismissed yesterday as it was found to be incompetent.

Chris Lagisa alleged that Muthuvel had a dual citizenship status however, the court found that was just an assumption.

Muthuvel’s Indian passport was surrendered to the Indian High Commission in May of 2007.

“The court described very clearly that if the petitioner was genuine, he would have given the evidence to court,” Muthuvel told the media after the decision.

Muthuvel in clear

The Waigani National Court dismissed all grounds of the petition that was filed by Chris Lagisa.

Justice George Manuhu found the petition incompetent, dismissing it and ordered for the security deposit of K5,000 to pay for Muthuvel and the Electoral Commission’s costs.

One of the petition grounds which questioned Muthuvel’s citizenship status was found to be incompetent.

Lagisa alleged that Muthuvel had a dual citizenship status however, the court found that was just an assumption.

16 petitions dismissed from court

This is out of the 79 petitions that were filed last year.

From the 79 petitions, 12 were withdrawn or discontinued during directions hearing, leaving 67 for trial. 16 have been dismissed for being incompetent. 51 petitions now remain in court.

So far only two petitions have progressed to trial and have been successful. These are the Central Bougainville and North Fly petitions which saw the National Court order re-counts of ballot papers. 

Potape’s leave application successful

The Supreme Court this afternoon granted him leave to proceed with the review of the National Court decision that dismissed his election petition.

The petition was dismissed on grounds of competency.

He was challenging Philip Undialu’s win as the Hela Governor.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia granted the leave on grounds that there are very serious allegations in the case that only a proper trial will need to address.

(Loop file pic)

Polye assures peace for Kandep trial

The National Court has directed that the petition be heard in Wabag from April 20 to May 25.

That trial will be heard in Wabag if the petition gets past the competency stage of the case.

Motions challenging the competency of the petition will be heard on April 3 at the Waigani National Court.

“We hope that in the trial, the right things will happen. The judiciary will perform, security will be provided and other party will aim to do what is right.

"I can give that assurance but it depends on all other parties,” Polye said outside court in Waigani.

Rigo petition dismissed

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.

Kuman asks court to dismiss petition

His lawyer yesterday asked the court to dismiss the petition on the basis it is incompetent.

He submitted before Justice Derek Hartshorn that the petition failed to comply with the five mandatory requirement stated in section 208 of the Organic Law.

This is for the petitioner to set out the facts that the court must rely on to invalidate the election, specify relief sought, be signed by the candidate or a qualified voter, be attested by two witnesses whose  occupation and address are stated and be filed at the courthouse within 40 days after the declaration of the result.

Jimi Open petition fails to meet requirements

The petition disputing Wake Goi’s election as Jimi MP was thrown out of the Waigani National Court on Friday.

Justice Ellenas Batari found the petition incompetent because petitioner Mai Dop failed to comply with Form 1 of the 2017 election petition rules.

That form should contain details (name, occupation and address) of two attesting witnesses when the petition is filed in court disputing an election.