High court to hear legality of Sunday polling

National

By DAPHNE WANI
THE Supreme Court will hear on July 31 the case questioning the legality of Sunday polling conducted in the Ialibu-Pangia electorate.
Candidate Stanley Liria, who was the runner-up to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in the seat, had asked the court to rule on the legality of voting on Sunday, July 2.
Justice Stephen Kassman adjourned the matter to give time to the parties to file documents.
On July 11, Liria’s lawyer Greg Egan told the court that polling on a Sunday breached Section 130 of the Organic Law on national and local level government elections.
It says the “poll shall open at each polling place at 8am on each day (other than a Sunday or a public holiday) during the period for taking the poll at that polling place, and shall not close until all electors present in the polling booth at 6pm and desiring to vote, have voted”.
Egan said only the Supreme Court — not the Court of Disputed Returns — could deal with a fundamental breach of the Constitution.
Justice Kassman yesterday also granted withdrawal of an application filed on July 11 by Liria seeking interim orders to stop the counting of votes in the Ialibu-Pangia electorate and to stop the declaration of a winner pending the outcome of the substantive case.

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