SHP disputed boxes given nod

National

By CHRISTOPHER YOWAT
The Waigani National Court yesterday ordered that 84 disputed ballot boxes of the Southern Highlands regional seat locked in Mendi be counted.
The court, presided by Justice Collin Makail, dismissed the motions filed by candidate Joseph Kobol with all the other pending motions after the court found that the court proceedings was an abuse of the electoral process.
Makail said the aggrieved parties should  seek the court’s assistance regarding election matters only after the election process was completed. He said the electoral commissioner should be allowed to carry out his duty without any interference because the election for the seat was not completed.
Patilias Gamato’s lawyer told the court that the commissioner should not be subjected to interference from any authority because the election process was still continuing.
Gamoto’s lawyer said the courts should  intervene in the operations of the election process only after a member was elected to office.
Gamato’s lawyer further argued that counting for the seat was delayed as a result of the proceedings which should be dismissed.
Makail said the court would allow the counting for the seat, including the 84 disputed ballot boxes, to continue because the commissioner had made his final decision.
He ordered each party to pay the cost in the proceedings.

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