Court refuses Chan’s election application


A COURT has refused an application to refer seven questions to the Supreme Court regarding the validity of votes for the Namatanai Open seat during the general election.
The Court of Disputed Returns presided by Justice Collin Makail refused the application filed by former Namatanai MP Byron Chan because he said they were not serious constitutional questions which justified a
referral to the Supreme Court for interpretation.
Justice Makail said the matter could be determined by the National Court rather than the Supreme Court to “avoid a duplication of hearing on the same issues and reduce time and costs”.
Justice Makail ordered that the costs of the application for the second respondent, the Electoral Commission, be paid by Chan, who had lost the seat to Walter Schnaubelt.
The court heard that the seven questions raised in the application were based on illegal acts allegedly committed by the commission during counting in the electorate.
The court heard that the commission had planned to have the ballot papers folded into the shape of an aeroplane so that the votes would be visible to the public.
The court heard that the alleged illegal act breached Section 138 (b) of the Organic Law on the National and local level government Elections.
Chan’s petition will return to court on Friday for a pre-trial conference.