Potape loses bid for Hela order rejected

National

By DEMAS TIEN
The Waigani National Court has refused Francis Potape’s interim orders sought to stop the writ for the Hela regional seat from being returned to the governor-general.
Justice Derek Hartshorn said there were no serious issues that could warrant the granting of the interim orders.
The court noted that Potape could still pursue his grievances through an election petition at the Court of Disputed Returns.
Potape told The National on Friday that he would be filing an election petition to claim back his victory that was allegedly “stolen” from him by his “runner-up” Philip Undialu.
His lawyer Paul Othas said the orders sought in the original summons were to nullify the writ submitted to the electoral commissioner by the returning officer last Tuesday because it was flawed.
Othas told the court that Potape was the candidate who scored the highest number of votes and reached the absolute majority after the 19th elimination process, but the returning officer did not declare him.
He said there was no declaration then and had one been made then, Potape would have won and not Undialu.
Undialu’s lawyer Goiye Gileng said the interim restraining orders sought by Potape had no utility because the event that it sought to restrain had taken place on July 25 when the writ was given to the electoral commissioner.

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