Court of Disputed Returns

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From the 79 petitions, 12 were withdrawn or discontinued during directions hearing, leaving 67 for trial. 16 have been dismissed for being incompetent. 51 petitions now remain in court.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

Gumine petition thrown out

The petition was stopped from progressing to trial hearing at the Waigani National Court and dismissed because certain requirements were not met by Dekena when he filed the petition.

Dekena disputed Nick Kuman’s election as Gumine MP on allegations there was illegal practice at Keru village, acts of undue influence and errors and omission, illegal marking of ballot papers and the illegal declaration of Kuman by the use an illegal writ.

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.

Court rejects Kobol’s objection

This was against a notice of motion that was filed by Southern Highlands Governor William Powi.

Powi had filed a motion to refer 8 proposed questions to the Supreme Court for interpretation.

The motion is brought pursuant to section 18 of the Constitution.

The eight proposed questions relate to the proper exercise of power by the Electoral Commissioner to stop counting of votes and declare the first respondent, William Powi, as candidate elected under Section 175 of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections.

Court: Kandep leaders must take responsibility

Court of Disputed Returns administration judge, Justice Collin Makail, said the two leaders will have to take responsibility and tell their people and supporters to respect the court process and the election petition in court.

He made the comments when fixing the venue for the election petition trial.

Suggestions were made by Polye’s lawyer to have the trial heard in either Mt Hagen or Mendi due to security reasons however, the judge said there is the National Court facility in Wabag that can be utilised.

Court: Amaiu’s petition not filed late

Kaupa filed an application on Oct 18 seeking dismissal of the entire proceeding, claiming the petition was filed one day late.

Today the National Court refused that application, allowing the petition to stay alive because it was filed on time.

To file an election petition, it must be done within 40 days after the declaration date.

Kaupa was declared on July 28. Amaiu filed the petition on 6 September.

Justice Collin Makail, in giving his ruling on the motion, said the petition was filed within the 40-day period after the declaration date.

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.

Sir Mek’s win disputed

The allegations contained in the petition relates to errors and omissions on the part of the PNG Electoral Commission.

The petition went for direction hearing yesterday to assist parties prepare themselves for trial.

Sir Mekere told supporters outside court that the election petitions are processes losing candidates pursue to seek relief and he had nothing to hide.

“It is a process we have to go through to determine if we are properly elected or not,” Sir Mekere said.

Sumkar petition withdrawn

This time, it’s the petition filed by former chief justice and Madang governor Sir Arnold Amet over the Sumkar seat.

Sir Arnold filed the petition against Sumkar MP Chris Nangoi.

Nangoi’s lawyer informed the court on Monday that a notice of discontinuance in the proceeding was filed by Sir Arnold’s lawyer on Oct 5.

The court accordingly allowed the withdrawal of the petition and ordered for the security bond fee of K5,000 to be refunded to the petitioner.

This week in court: Review

Cases that had petitioners present in court indicated the number of witnesses they intend to call and were given time to collect witness statements in preparation for trial.

Among those petitions that went for direction was the one filed by runner-up in the Ialibu-Pangia Open seat, Stanley Liria.

In this petition, Papua New Guinea Defence Force, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo, and CEO of the National Gaming Control Board, Imelda Agon, were summoned to turn up in court for the trial.