19 Jul 2005

John Momis decides against legal action over Bougainville election result

4:34 pm on 19 July 2005

John Momis, who last month claimed there was monumental fraud in the elections for the autonomous government in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, has decided against taking legal action.

Mr Momis, who had been governor of the province, was soundly beaten in the presidential race by Joseph Kabui.

He had claimed that the declared results were totally inconsistent with numbers on the roll, and promised to try and overturn the result.

However international election monitors had praised the transparency of the electoral process.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that Mr Momis has dropped his electoral petition because he doesn't want to undermine the still fragile peace process.

Mr Momis's lawyer, Ben Lomai, however told the paper that concerns over the election process remain.

These include people not on the common roll being allowed to vote; a lack of seals on some ballot boxes; the lack of police and scrutineers and the excess of voters over numbers on the roll.