Fr Simon Dumarinu

Court declares Akoitai

The National Court today declared Sam Akoitai duly elected member for Central Bougainville following the judicial recount.

Trial Judge Justice Lawrence Kangwia on Friday (April 13) afternoon declared Sam Akoitai duly elected, pursuant to section 212 of the Organic Law on National and Local level government.

He formally ratified election results from the recount, filed in court on March 20, as correct and valid.

Akoitai, who was the successful petitioner, won the recount by just four votes ahead of Fr Simon Dumarinu.

Fr Dumarinu seeks recount of judicial recount

His lawyers filed a motion before the same court to challenge the recount results, alleging there were errors.

He claims the recount results did not meet requirements of section 170 of the organic law.

That provision allows for the candidate with the second highest votes to request for a recount, if the number of votes does not exceed 0.25 percent of the number of votes,  polled by the candidate who collected the highest number of votes.

The matter returned before Justice Lawrence Kangwia for the court to ratify the results of the recount.

Court orders recount for Central B’ville seat

The Waigani National Court today ordered for the recount after it was satisfied the Electoral Commission, through the returning officer, failed to accord a request provided under the organic law which was raised by runner-up Sam Akoitai’s scrutineer prior to declaration.

Aggrieved with the results, Akoitai filed the petition, disputing Fr Simon Dumarinu’s election.

Justice Lawrence Kangwia heard evidence in the trial and gave his ruling today.