Court orders permanent sealing of disputed ballots


A National Court judge has ordered the Electoral Commission to permanently seal a container holding ballot boxes from Kagua-Erave electorate in Southern Highlands to prevent any tampering.
Justice Collin Makail said the safety of the ballot boxes was important for the determination of an election petition to verify allegations of errors, omissions or illegal practices during counting.
He said sealing the ballot boxes permanently would ensure that they were secure while the parties and the court determined the outcome of the election petition.
The substantive proceedings will return to court for mention on Oct 2.
Justice Makail issued the order yesterday after hearing an interim injunction application sought by Joel Reke Raitano, who had filed an election petition against the incumbent MP for Kagua-Erave Wesley Raminai and the Electoral Commission as respondents.
The motion filed on Sept 5 sought injunctive relief from the court, compelling the EC to seal completely the ballot boxes for Kagua-Erave electorate.
The application was moved ex-parte by lawyer Karen Nugi from Pang Legal Service, who represented Raitano, before Justice Makail yesterday.

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