Electoral Commission

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.

Police deaths blamed on EC inconsistency

A disappointed commissioner for police, Gari Baki said all those election issues that have turned to become law and order issues, are results of inconsistency in some of the decisions that were made by the Electoral Commission.

This is by the electoral officials on ground.

“As a result of that, they tend to become law and order problems, and police have to deal with them.”

He said a classical example is the counting of the Southern Highlands boxes being delayed overtime.

181 witnesses to assist in petition against Maru

The petition went for directions today, where Waranaka’s lawyer, John Alman, indicated they will be filing a motion seeking protection order of those witnesses.

Alman said they will be filing necessary application seeking to have the court restrain police and supporters of Maru, the first respondent, from intimidating or threatening the petitioner’s witnesses.

In this petition, Waranaka is alleging 22 counts of bribery.

Gamato recognises Powi amidst concerns

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato received the writ on Thursday night at the PNG Electoral Commission headquarters in Port Moresby.

On Thursday, several candidates voiced their concerns and asked for counting to proceed into eliminations to complete the LPV system. They claimed none of the 25 candidates reached the absolute majority after the primary vote counts.

However, just hours after talking to the media, Gamato accepted the writ from the Provincial Returning Officer Steven Gore Kaupa, which automatically recognised incumbent Powi as the duly-elected governor.

Electoral Commission must sort legal rep

 Justice Collin Makail of the Waigani National Court said the Electoral Commission, Attorney General and Solicitor General need to sit down and meet on the representation of the Electoral Commission by law firms in Election petition matters.

Petitions filed are going for direction hearing at this state, to prepare it for trial, but some have not progressed far, due to the conflict in legal representation for the Electoral Commission.

Zurenuoc withdraws petition against Paita

Former Speaker of parliament and Finschhafen MP, Theodore Zurenuoc, withdrew the petition he filed against current MP, Rainbo Paita, today.

The petition also filed by runner-up in the Telefomin Open seat, Peter Iwei, against re-elected MP Solan Mirisin, was withdrawn.

These two petitions are among 77 filed in court.

Meanwhile, the legal representation of the Electoral Commission in some petitions filed, continues to disrupt the progress of the cases progressing to directions in prepration for trial.

​Electoral Commission taken to court

His lawyer, Arnold Amet, appeared yesterday before Justice Collin Makail, informing the Court that his client’s case is based on the grounds of errors and omissions made during the counting period.

The lawyer further clarified that there are no allegations against the sitting Manus MP, Job Pomat, despite being named as the 1st respondent in this case.

The sitting MP’s lawyer, Stephen Pokawin, indicated to Court that because of this reason, they will be filing a Notice of Objection to Competency.

NZ Electoral Commission to help enrol gang members

The Commission had earlier said it did not feel comfortable going onto the gang's premises.

A gang advocate, Denis O'Reilly, said getting gang members to vote was a way of helping them become more law abiding.

RNZI reports O’Reilly praised the Commission for getting Black Power members registered at a meeting on a marae in Hawera recently.

"It's a symbol by the Crown that says, 'We care. Yes we will thrash you if you break the law, but we also want to engage with you'.

"So it's as symbolic as anything," Mr O'Reilly said.

​NGO condemns media freedom violations during elections

This includes a gag order on a well-known blogger as a result of a complaint by the head of the Electoral Commission.

In a statement, the RSF said journalists who went to cover the elections in the northern province of Madang were kept at bay by the police and the electoral commission.

“In the capital, Port Moresby, the media were not allowed to film or take photos in the city’s main vote- counting centre.

VIDEO: Electoral Commission extends return of writs

This comes as counting continues in parts of the country and up to 60 seats yet to be declared.


Meredith Kuusa with more