A candidate contesting the Kerowagi seat in Simbu has been declared insolvent by the National Court in Port Moresby.
The Court found Bari Palma guilty of failing to pay the taxed costs of nearly K300,000 following an election petition against sitting MP Camilus Dangima.
Palma was declared bankrupt after being financially incapable of meeting his liabilities.
Under a process called taxation, Bari Palma was ordered to pay K275,119.06 to the sitting MP.
He failed to file a review within 7 days hence Kombri & Associates Lawyers filed a debtor’s summons on March 21st against him.
The case began after the 2012 National Elections.
Three losing candidates for the Kerowagi seat, Peter Kuman, Guma Wau and Bari Palma, filed separate election petitions against defendants Electoral Commission, and sitting MP Camillus Dangma.
However Kuman and Guma withdrew their case, while Bari Palma proceeded all the way to trial.
The National Court ruling is so far the first for this country, since independence for a candidate to be declared insolvent, on the eve of polling.
The Office of the Electoral Commission is aware of the case, and will be making a statement on it shortly.