Judge refuses change to petition

The National, Wednesday July 6th, 2016

The Waigani National Court has refused to allow Cosmos Sohia to amend his petition challenging the election of Fidelis Semoso in the Tsitalato constituency of  Bougainville.
Sohia was a losing candidate  last year.
Justice Colin Makail, in a seven-page judgment, refused leave to Sohia to amend the petition because the court had no power to amend the petition outside the one-month period prescribed by Section 205 (e) of the Bougainville Elections Act, 2007.
“In essence, the petitioner (Sohia) is not seeking to withdraw a ground or grounds of the petition but rather replacing a pleading with another,” Makail said.
“Deleting and replacing a pleading is not the same thing as withdrawing a pleading of which the latter can be categorised as a simple or ‘cosmetic change’.
“As to the inherent power of the court under Section 155 (4) of the Constitution, I am of the view that it does not apply.”