The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commissioner, Mr Andrew Trawen has advised election petitioners to take their grievances to the Court of Disputed Returns.
He said legally this was the next procedure for disgruntled candidates to seek redress if they felt aggrieved and intended to challenge the validity of the declared results by their Provincial Returning Officers.
He said on declaration of final results after the counting, aggrieved parties now had to follow the proper legal procedures and file their petitions in court.
Mr Trawen formally gave this advice in order for candidates to properly understand the legal requirements under the Organic Law on National and Local-Level Government Elections which stipulate the due process.
This advice was given following declaration of the country’s first three seats in Ialibu-Pangia, Manus Open and Manus Regional.
Mr Trawen urged those aggrieved from declaration of winners must follow the legal provisions accordingly.
He added that on declaration of the winners, petitions should not be forwarded or addressed to the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission.
He said “winning candidates on declaration effectively become the Member of Parliament for their respective seats, and by Law any disputes against the results are matters adjudicated by the Court if Disputed Returns alone.”