5 Jul 2002

Tougher election petition laws in place to limit number of writs contesting election results

10:34 am on 5 July 2002

A constitutional lawyer and election adviser in Papua New Guinea says tougher regulations are in place to limit the number of legal disputes over election results.

Eric Kwa from the University of PNG says election laws have been tightened to make it harder for candidates to challenge election results in court.

Mr Kwa says he expects a record number of petitions challenging the results because of current polling problems.

He says the number may well exceed the last election in which 89 petitions were filed, though only 6 were successful.

Mr Kwa says after that experience, the judiciary has made it harder to file the petitions in court.

"Not many of these elections petitions will succeed."

In the rules, the fee for filing an election petition has been raised from 50 kina to 250 kina. There is another that you have to pay and that is 2500 kina. We've also agreed that the number of the election petitions that are dismissed cannot quickly go before the Supreme court unless you meet certain other requirments and so the rules have become a bit more clearer because the courts have made it very very clear that they will not unnecessarily interfere in the rights of the voters who have voted.

Eric Kwa from UPNG