By MALUM NALU
THE recounting of ballot boxes for the Kandep Open seat in Enga will start today, Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says.
This follows the adjournment yesterday of an application in the Supreme Court by Kandep MP Don Polye to stay the recounting of the boxes as ordered earlier by the same court. Justice Stephen Kassman, presiding as a sole Supreme Court judge, said he had no power to stay the decision of a three-man bench Supreme Court.
Kassman said the stay application and the application for leave for a slip-rule application, both filed by Polye, would be heard by the same full court that dealt with the election petition review.
“The court had adjourned the decision to tomorrow for directions,” Gamato told The National.
“In the meantime, there is no stay, so our officers who are on the ground will proceed with the count.
“We expect to have the count start today at about 10am.”
The Supreme Court two weeks ago ordered a recount of all ballot boxes, including the five boxes that were disputed, in the Kandep Open election of 2012.
Justices Allen David, Jacinta Murray and Frazer Pitpit, in a unanimous decision, had upheld two separate Supreme Court election petition reviews filed by Polye and his election rival Alfred Luke Manase.
The three-judge Supreme Court bench quashed an earlier national court election petition which had set aside Polye’s election as member for Kandep.
It ordered the Electoral Commission to conduct a recount of the ballot papers within the next 30 days.
By MALUM NALU