Nominations for Hagen valid: Court

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THE Supreme Court has ruled that all 2022 general election nominations for Hagen under election returning officer (RO) Amose Noifa are valid.
It also ruled that the nominations must be accepted by the duly appointed RO Wille Ropa.
Justice Derek Hartshorn granted a stay of the National Court’s decision and interim restraining order against Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai yesterday.
Justice Hartshorn said: “Staying the National Court order and setting aside the restraining order will allow Sinai to perform his obligated duty authorised to him by law to conduct general elections for the country and for Hagen Open.”
He further ordered acting RO Noifa to hand over all Hagen open nominations before 4pm yesterday.
Justice Hartshorn said: “It is not in dispute that Sinai has the constitutional power and discretion to conduct parliamentary elections.
“These powers are contained in the Constitution, authorising him to perform his duty as the electoral commissioner.”
Hartshorn said he was satisfied that the balance of the outcome of the decision out favours a stay order.
“It is in interest of justice that the Court must grant a stay pending the substantive appeal,” he added.
Sinai’s lawyer Lasen Tangua made the application after Justice Hartshorn confirmed the affidavit of Attorney-General Pila Niningi authorising Tangua to represent Sinai.
Tangua said Sinai sought the order because such restraining order had prevented him from performing his duty under the constitutional right obligated to him.
“He has the authority to appoint and reappoint ROs where he sees fit,” he added.