The people of Gumine District in Simbu Province have protested and petitioned the National Government over the delay in handing down a decision for the election petition for Gumine Open Seat.
The people alleged that their rights have been deprived when certain ballot papers of Polling Team 17 for Koloma Village were excluded in a court ordered re-count.
These and other issues were all captured in a petition that was handed over to Simbu Police recently.
The people were clearly frustrated as shown in EMTV’s footage. They protested, carrying banners and placards and petitioned why they were never given any written decision on the election petition outcome for Gumine District.
They alleged that their rights were deprived when the Member of Parliament Lucas Dekena, the choice of the majority of Gumine, were sidelined, resulting in the victory of sitting MP Nick Kuman.
Simbu Provincial Police Commander Superintendent Michael Welsh received the petition on behalf of the government as the Simbu Provincial Governor, Noah Kool, refused to come out of his office to receive the petition.
According to the petition, the people alleged that the exclusion of ballot papers of polling team 17 for Koloma Village was a direct deprivation of the people’s basic rights.
It has stated that the PNG Electoral Commission failed to complete counting of ballot papers in the re-count, excluding 723 ballot papers for DEGINE Ward 4 as ordered by the Supreme Court.
The people say the Principles of Natural Justice as Stated under Section 59 of the Constitution were breached. Therefore, they have demanded that the people’s choice MP, Lucas Dekena be re-instated as Member for Gumine.
They are also calling on the Minister for Justice and Attorney General to immediately establish a judicial review into the Gumine Election Petition case and for the Chief Justice to re- open the case.
Meanwhile, Simbu Provincial PPC Superintendent Michael Welsh has assured the people that he will study the petition and follow the appropriate procedure. He has called for calm and normalcy in the area.
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