Southern Highlands regional seat

Recount for Southern Highlands Regional seat

The ruling was handed down on Tuesday by Justice David Cannings.

The decision comes following an election petition filed by fourth runner up candidate in the 2017 General Elections, Pastor Bernard Kaku.

Pastor Kaku in his petition asked the court for a recount on the grounds that the returning officer Steven Gore Kaupa failed to complete and determine the results of the counting, by prematurely declaring William Powi as the elected member.

Kobol seeks review in Supreme Court

Petitioner in the Southern Highlands Regional seat, Joseph Kobol, went before the Supreme Court with an application seeking leave to file for review.  

A ruling will be given at a later date.

Justice Derek Hartshorn, sitting as a single Supreme Court judge, today heard submission from lawyers representing Kobol, the Electoral Commission and Governor William Powi.

Kobol is asking the Supreme Court to grant him leave to file a review into the dismissal of his petition in the National Court on June 14 after it was found to be incompetent.

SHP returning officer summoned

The Waigani National Court today fixed dates for the two respective petitions that were filed by Pastor Bernard Kaku and Joseph Kobol disputing William Powi's election as Governor-elect.

The issue before court to determine surrounds Powi's declaration under special circumstances which was done by the Electoral Commission pursuant to section 175 of the Organic Law.

​Candidates warned against disrupting SHP counting

The Electoral Commissioner’s delegate and deputy commissioner corporate services, John Kalamoroh, has warned that candidates and supporters risk being held for contempt of court.

“The Supreme Court has ordered the count of the 84 disputed ballot boxes locked at the Mendi police station.

“The people of SHP have expressed their choices and the electoral process must respect that. We cannot deprive the electors their right to vote for a candidate of their choice.

“We must count the 84 boxes.

Court: SHP regional counting must continue

This was the ruling of the court after incumbent MP, William Powi, went to court, asking it to stop counting progressing to the quality check stage and prevent elimination from starting until 84 rejected ballot boxes, kept in Mendi, are taken to Mt Hagen for counting.

Powi’s lawyer went to court seeking the interim orders which were refused. The Southern Highlands regional seat is one of the only two outstanding electorates where the writs are yet to be returned, despite being one of the first provinces to go to the polls.

Commissioner urged to accelerate SHP counting

Candidates Jerry Kiwa, Joe Kobol and Ps Bernard Peter, in a separate press conference in Mt Hagen yesterday, said they have wasted a lot of time and effort already in Mendi and they do not want the counting process to be further delayed.

The candidates pointed out that the Southern Highlands Provincial Seat is no different from other provincial seats.

The formal declaration should have been done already but the former Provincial Returning Officer, Jacob Kurap’s manner in conducting the counting, was not right by declaring the incumbent Governor William Powi.

Motions on election matters withdrawn

The first was filed on July 8 by a candidate in the Southern Highlands regional seat, Sylvester Harry Komba, against Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.

The matter was filed in relation to counting of certain disputed ballot boxes from the Nipa-Kutubu area.

Komba’s lawyer appeared before Justice Collin Makail today and said he will no longer be asking the court for interim orders but wait for the substantive matter, which is related to the issue of polling on Sunday.