By BEVERLY PETER
DEPUTY Chief Justice Ambeng Kandakasi has warned Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai not to release information to the media on issues that are pending in court.
“Every election related decision must be carefully made and only facts must be disseminated through media,” Kandakasi said.
He said this at the National Court in Waigani yesterday when addressing Sinai’s statement published by Post-Courier on Tuesday titled ‘EC dismiss second list’.
“Sinai should have come to the court to prove that the fake list was dismissed instead of going to the media when the proceeding filed by Hagen MP William Duma in Court regarding this two list still pending,” he said.
Kandakasi further ordered Sinai to write a retraction of his whole statement and have it published in the same paper.
“The intention of the publication was to clarify the confusion about the appointments of returning officers (RO) since there were two list of ROs circulating but one wrong does not correct the other,” he said.
A restraining order Duma obtained on May 12 restraining Sinai and Willie Ropa (second Western Highlands RO) from stopping Amos Noifa from conducting election in Hagen open as the RO was extended.
“The nature of this matter is not beyond Sinai’s control because he has the power to reappoint and replace appointments which should have been done
“He must accept what has been done and start correcting it instead of finding ways to blame,” Kandakasi said.
Having said this, he ordered Sinai to clarify which of the two National Gazetted list containing the names of ROs was fake and which was the original.
Kandakasi further added that there were so many confusion this election with election being deferred, common roll not ready before the closing of parliament and then to issuing of writs being deferred.
“The Electoral Commission gets to deliver once in five years and should be prepared in advance and as a result, list of ROs names should have been released long time and not at the final hours,” he said.
Duma filed the proceeding questioning the appointments of Western Highlands ROs as his electorate would be affected with having two different ROs on the two separate lists.
One list having Noifa and the other having Ropa as the ROs.
The matter returns to court today to confirm Sinai’s affidavit declaring which of those two National Gazettes containing the returning officers name list was fake and which was original.
By BEVERLY PETER