Court sets recount deadline


By ALICE OSII in Vanimo
THE National Court in Vanimo has ordered that the recount of the West Sepik regional seat be completed by tonight, and a declaration be made tomorrow in Vanimo.
The order was made by Justice Hitelai Polume-Kiele at the National Court in Vanimo yesterday.
She ordered acting Registrar of the National and Supreme Court Baka Bina to have the recount completed.
She told Bina to perform his duties as the representative of the court and at least file an affidavit to inform the court on the progress of the recount of ballot papers.
The seat was won in the 2017 general election by Tony Wouou. The court allowed the challenge by losing candidate Simon Solo and ordered a recount. Justice Polume-Kiele said ample time had been given to election officials to complete the exercise.
“A recount is not a new thing to the Electoral Commission,” she said.
Polume-Kiele also told Michael Ninkama of Ninkama Lawyers representing the Electoral Commission not to come up with excuses of no funding from the Government.
“At least file an affidavit to inform the court on the progress, or the difficulties faced during the recount.”
She said all parties involved in the recount of ballot papers should play their part in completing the exercise so that a declaration could be made.
The recount should have been completed by the end of last month.
Polume-Kiele ordered that Bina and the Returning Officer Steven Kaupa be present in court tomorrow.

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