Governor Tongamp faces petition by former member

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 11th April, 2013


JIWAKA Governor Dr William Tongamp faces two cases filed against him in court by former MP Jamie Maxtone- Graham.

Maxtone-Graham, who came third in the contest for the Jiwaka regional seat in the 2012 general election, is challenging Tongamp’s win. 

He is alleging errors and omission, illegal practices and that his votes were given to Tongamp during the counting.

Maxtone-Graham has also filed contempt charges in Waigani against Tongamp and others alleging that they failed to transport the regional ballot boxes to Mt Hagen for safe keeping. The boxes were later burnt.

Paul Enn, who was the runner-up to Tongamp, applied in the Minj national court last week to be a party to the proceeding. 

But that was struck out by the court.

Justice Allan David was to hand down his decision on the competency of the election petition yesterday at the Minj National Court but that did not eventuate.

Justice David told the court  that with an order in place, he could not do much. 

He said to deal with the election petition, he needed to get a transcript on the pre-trial held in Port Moresby on the issue of services. 

He said that he did not know whether the issue of service was dealt in the pre-trial or not.

Justice David said if it was not dealt in Port Moresby, they would do it in Minj.

He said these after Tongamp’s lawyer submitted that proper procedures were not followed in advertising the petition in the two dailies.

In a separate matter, Justice David asked Maxtone-Graham’s lawyer to serve court documents on people named in the contempt proceedings so that they could engage lawyers to defend them.

He adjourned the case to next Wednesday.