PNG court ruling clears way for Southern Highlands result

3:30 pm on 5 September 2017

A Papua New Guinea national court ruling has cleared the way for electoral officials to finalise the election in the Southern Highlands regional seat.

Ialibu-Pangia district in Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands province.

Ialibu-Pangia district in Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands province. Photo: Supplied/Peter Kinjap

A result in the last remaining seat to be declared in PNG's general election has been delayed due to a dispute over ballot boxes which held up the counting of votes and elimination of candidates on preferences.

There were also earlier delays caused by deadly violence between supporters of rival candidates, which forced the count process to be moved to neighbouring Western Highlands province.

Election results were finalised in the vast majority of PNG's 111 seats a month ago.

One of the candidates for the seat, Joseph Kobol, filed a motion last week seeking a court ruling to exclude 84 ballot boxes.

Our correspondent Melvin Levongo said Justice Colin Makail dismissed all pending motions in regards to counting in the regional seat.

"He ruled that the motion to stop counting of the 84 ballot boxes is an abuse of process as the Electoral Commission, under the Organic Law and constitution, ius charged with the duty to run the election and not submit to anyone, even the courts. On that ground, the court decided not to dispute the 84 boxes."

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