Poll disputes rejected

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday July 18th, 2012

ALL election-related declaratory orders sought by candidates throughout the country have been dismissed, according to the Supreme Court registry. It was revealed that all 33 originating summonses seeking short-term orders, such as to stop or delay counting, have been dismissed because their substantive matters can be raised in petitions after the elections.A senior Supreme Court official said all election-related matters would be dealt with as election petitions after the elections under a newly-established system where they would be registered with respective court registries before proceeding to the chief justice and his deputy for assigning of judges.“This is purely to improve quality control and proper accountability in all cases that come before the courts,” a court official, who preferred not to be named, said.“It is unlike the previous system where any aggrieved candidate or party writes directly to a judge and gets to have his or her case heard. We want to do away with that old system.”The official said election-related cases were always sensitive matters and they would like to be as transparent as possible.Meantime, a list of all outstanding contempt charges pending against incumbent MPs will be finalised next week.Apart from the cases of Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah and re-elected Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat, a long list of contempt cases is expected.
“Those who fail in their election bids will be spared if they are not named individually in the contempt charges. If they are named, they will still face the charges – whether as an MP or ordinary citizen,” the official said.