IT has been noted through the media that more than 70-plus national election petition cases have been filed and registered in the court registry.
These dispute the returns of writs of duly-elected MPs.
It is not a disputed fact that some MPs were declared in controversial circumstances by the Electoral Commission and its agents.
The EC is a mandated authority by law to manage and run elections in the country and its decisions are final.
If we are aggrieved with results, then the appropriate legal avenue to address such issues is the court of disputed returns.
It has been the trend since 2002 general election that most petitions against MPs were struck out on competency and procedural grounds.
They were declared by the courts as abuse of court process, simply because these petitions were non-compliant to Section 208 of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections (OLNLLGE).
Even if the petition survives beyond the preliminary stages and advances to the trial or hearing stages, the petitioner struggles or lacks sufficient and credible evidence to substantiate his grounds.
As such the petition dies from natural causes.
This can be attributed to the petitioner’s lawyer poorly drafting the petition or inadequate instructions by the petitioner to the lawyer.
I’d like to commend those candidates in 2017 general election who withdraw their petitions against current sitting MPs.
They include the likes of Theo Zurenuoc for Finschhafen, Sir Arnold Amet (Sumkar) and Stanley Liria (Ialibu-Pangia).
They withdrew based on their individual judgments and reasons for the greater good of their respective electorates.