Court to hear election petition case against Malabag

National, Normal

The National, Friday August 2nd, 2013

 THE National Court has ruled that an election petition against Michael Malabag’s victory in the Moresby Northwest seat go ahead.

Justice Collin Makail rejected an application by Malabag, the Health Minister, to dismiss the election petition against him filed by Miria Ikupu. 

Malabag, represented by Paul Paraka Lawyers, won the seat in the 2012 general election ahead of Ikupu, who was his closest rival. 

Ikupu was represented in court by Paul Mawa of Mawa Lawyers.

Makail said except for the order to dismiss the petition on the ground of attestation, all other orders sought by Malabag were refused.

He said the attestation was an issue of competency and would be left to the trial judge to deal with. 

Makail said Ikupu had made serious allegations of illegal practices, errors and omissions at scrutiny of votes. 

He said one notable allegation was the burning of a ballot box from the Hanuabada Mission Station Ward One.

Makail later informed the court that he had appointed Justice Bernard Sakora to preside over the trial.

He fixed a three-week trial from Oct 1-18 at Waigani National Court.