Ex-politician, MP in war of words

Main Stories, National

The National, Friday 7th September, 2012

A HEATED confrontation reportedly took place on Wednesday night at a nightclub in Port Moresby after a former parliamentarian tried to serve a petition on a highlands MP.
Daniel Bali Tulapi, who lost the Kagua-Erave race in the recent national election, said he tried to serve an election petition on James Lagea but the latter refused to be served, resulting in a stand-off.
Patrons at the club witnessed a heated exchange of words between the pair.
The club management could not be reached for comment but guards at the gate confirmed that their night colleagues had reported the incident.
Tulapi himself also confirmed the incident.
He said: “I went to serve the petition on him (Lagea) but he resisted.
“I have been looking for him since Aug 24, but he has evaded me,” Tulapi claimed.
“The court gave me only 14 days to serve him the petition and that will end tomorrow (today),” he said.
The petition is for the court of disputed returns to nullify the election of Lagea.
Tulapi was accompanied by policemen to the club.
He claimed that a very senior police officer was with Lagea in the club.

He claimed the senior officer ordered the policemen to leave Lagea alone.
Lagea said he called his tribesmen who came and confronted Tulapi but police apprehended them.
The senior officer said yesterday: “I am not a politician and I don’t hang around with politicians.
“I was never at the … club.
“There is no truth in what he (Tulapi) is saying,” the officer said.
“He must have seen my shadow.”
So far, a total of 80 petitions had been recorded in the court of disputed returns since the return of writs last month.