Kaupa files petition to challenge Amaiu’s win

National, Normal

The National, Friday 21st September 2012

LOSING Port Moresby Northeast candidate John Kaupa filed an election petition challenging the win by Labi Amaiu.
Kaupa argued that a difference of 14 votes between him and winner Amaiu could have been different had the PNG Electoral Commission not set aside six ballot boxes from the ward six area.
He said in his petition according to the organic law, a ballot box may be excluded from scrutiny if there was a complaint from an entitled person providing that the ballot papers had been tampered with.
Kaupa also argued that during counting there was no objection from a scrutineer or a polling officer that ballot boxes should not be admitted for scrutiny.
He also argued that the Electoral Commission’s direction to reject the ballot boxes was unlawful interference with the delegated powers and responsibilities of the returning officer.
“The ballot papers in the rejected ballot boxes amounted to 9,748 ballot papers that were not counted, and the exclusion of those ballot boxes would have likely affected or did affect the result of the election as the winning margin was only 14 votes,” Kaupa’s court documents said.
He would be seeking orders that Amaiu was not duly elected and that a recount be conducted to include the disputed boxes.
Alternatively, Kaupa has sought the election of Amaiu be  declared null and void and a by-election be held.