Court orders recount for Madang seat

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The Waigani National Court yesterday ordered a recount for the Madang regional seat after finding that the inclusion of an unqualified candidate had affected the election results.
Justice Terence Higgins also asserted that the Electoral Commission was at fault for allowing an unqualified candidate to contest the election.
“It should be emphasised that this result is not the fault of either petitioner. It is that of the Electoral Commission,” he said.
Justice Higgins said the decision to allow James Yali to contest the regional seat affected the election results.
Unsuccessful candidates Yali and Jerry Singirok were the petitioners in the matter, Governor Peter Yama was the first respondent and the Electoral Commission the second.
Justice Higgins dismissed Yali’s petition after the court found that he was not qualified to stand for election.
The court was of the view that although he was on parole, his prison sentence was going to expire on Dec 12, 2017.
The court found that Yali was still subject to his sentence handed down on Jan 19, 2006, when he contested for the Madang regional seat.
He ordered that the declaration of the poll and the writ be set aside and the election declared null and void.
“There must be a recount of the votes cast with votes cast for Mr Yali being treated as though he had already been eliminated,” Justice Higgins said.
Justice Higgins ordered the second respondent to pay Singirok’s and Yama’s costs in the proceedings.

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