The National, Tuesday 28th August, 2012
By ADRIAN MATHIAS
NATIONAL Court judge and administrator of election petitions Colin Makail last Friday issued directions for the first two of 14 election petitions filed and registered so far in the Waigani National Court in Port Moresby to prepare and file statements of agreed facts for pre-trials.
Justice Makail issued directions on former Ambunti-Dreikikir MP Tony Waterupu Aimo (petitioner) and his successor Ezekiel Anisi (first respondent), through their lawyers, to file and serve on each other, any further affidavits by Friday.
Aimo’s lawyer, Tony Waisi of Waisi Lawyers, told the directions hearing last Friday, that his client (Aimo) had filed three affidavits in support of his petition while his witnesses had filed five.
Waisi told the hearing that the dispute was filed on two grounds of qualification and was not to do with other issues such as tampering of ballot papers or voter irregularities during polling and counting.
He told the hearing that the petition had raised two issues on the basis that:
lThe first respondent Ezekiel Anisi did not qualify as required in the constitution in terms of age requirements to stand in the elections, as he was under the required 25 years of age; and
lHis name was not on either of the electoral rolls of the three villages in his electorate to qualify him.
Aimo named Anisi as the first respondent, PNG Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen as the second respondent, Electoral Commission as the third respondent, and former Speaker of National Parliament Jeffrey Nape as fourth defendant in his dispute filed on July 26.
But the court told the petitioner through his lawyer to exclude Nape from being a party to the proceedings and granted leave to other respondents to be received as parties to the proceedings.
Anisi was represented by M S Wagambie Lawyers. No lawyer represented the Electoral Commission during directions hearing last Friday.
Justice Makail, as a requirement for fixing the matter for pre-trial conference within 28 days under Rule 13 of the National Court Elections Petition Rules, fixed the matter on Sept 14 for pre trial conference.
The matter has been adjourned for Status conference five days before the pre trial conference on Sept 10.
The second petition came before Justice Makail last Friday in the hearing, was a petition filed by losing Gazelle open candidate in East New Britain Norbert Kubak against winner and Melanesian Liberal Party man Malakai Tabar. Similar directions were issued on parties concerned.
Justice Makail fixed the matter for pre trial conference on Sept 21.
The matter has been adjourned to Sept 18, for status conference.