7 Feb 2003

PNG Court dismisses election petition against Kapris

1:45 pm on 7 February 2003

Papua New Guinea's Court of Disputed Returns has dismissed an election petition filed by losing Maprik candidate Sir Pita Lus against the sitting member and works minister, Gabriel Leni Kapris.

Deputy Chief Justice Sir Mari Kapi dismissed the petition because the grounds were found to be incompetent and therefore could not proceed further for trial.

When making his ruling Sir Kapi said the petition failed to set out facts relied on to invalidate the election.

Counsel for Mr Kapris and the Electoral Commission made preliminary objections to the petition, submitting that the grounds were incompetent and di not conform to Section 208 of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections.

Section 208 states that a petition shall set out facts relied on to invalidate the election or return, and specify the relief to which the petitioner claims to be entitled.

One of the main grounds in this petition was the alleged presence of two unauthorised ballot boxes. Other grounds include bribery and undue influence.