Court dismisses EC’s late application to stop vote recount

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The National, Friday 14th June 2013

 THE Madang National Court yesterday dismissed an application by the Electoral Commission to stop the recounting of votes for the Usino-Bundi electorate due to a late submission.

The recount had come about following a successful Court of Disputed Returns application by petitioner and Madang businessman Peter Yama, which resulted in the dismissal of Peter Yagama as MP.

Yama had alleged foul play during the polling and counting periods, as well as errors and omissions.

The court ruled in Yama’s favour last month and ordered a recount.

Yesterday’s attempt by commission lawyer Harvey Nii failed as Justice David Cannings ruled that the application was filed “at the 11th hour and will not be entertained”.

Cannings had ordered the recount within 28 days and that results be submitted on June 13, which was yesterday. That did not happen.

Nii’s other application to extend the time for recount will be heard next Thursday as well as Yama’s  allegation of contempt of court by Electoral Commisioner Andrew Trawen.