Ipatas beats poll petition

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 17th, 2013


AN election petition filed against Enga Governor Peter Ipatas by a losing candidate was dismissed by the National Court in Mt Hagen yesterday.

This followed an objection to competency submission by Ipatas’ lawyer Paul Mawa two weeks ago.

Mawa told the court during the objection hearing that the entire petition was “structurally defective” and it should be thrown out as it would not make any improvement if was allowed to proceed to trial.

Justice Salatiel Lenalia said when handing down the decision that petitioner Sandy Talitia, who was the runner-up in the Enga Regional seat race, had failed to plead his allegations of illegal practice including omission of voters’ names and bribery under section 108 and 109 of the Organic Law and National and Provincial Government Elections.

Lenalia said it was not the role of the court to make corrections on defective petitions as election petitions were serious matters that tested the election victory of a leader who was chosen by the majority of the people through a secret ballot.

He added that it was the work of the lawyers of the petitioner to tighten up the material facts of the allegation to convince the court.