Manase clarifies court order on LLG elections


THE interim stay order issued by the Supreme Court does not stop the Electoral Commission from receiving nominations and conducting the local level government elections, it has been revealed.
Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Alfred Manase said it only prevented the commission from issuing the writs, which was the responsibility of the Minister for Inter-government Relations and not the commission.
“After thoroughly studying the case and the decision handed down by the Supreme Court by our lawyers, the interim stay order (only) prevents the EC from issuing the writs,” he said.
“But the power of issuing writs is with the minister for intergovernmental relations.”
He said the minister had already signed and issued the writs “so the EC should go ahead, accept nominations and conduct the LLG elections”.
He said staying and delaying the election would have severe legal repercussions and likely to have the entire LLG elections declared failed.
“There are specific timeframe sets out in the constitution for the writs to be issued, nominations, campaign, polling to voting and declaration and for the writs to be returned,” he said. “If it’s delayed, then the repercussions will be huge and severe. That’s why, after carefully studying the Supreme Court decision and the existing laws, we now call for the EC to conduct the LLG elections.” The Supreme Court order was handed down by Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika on April 25 to await the hearing of a reference filed by the Ombudsman Commission.