2908 Kundiawa-Gembogl writ returned at last

Writ for the Kundiawa-Gembogl Open electorate was finally returned to the Electoral Commissioner this afternoon after a month due to lawlessness in the electorate disputing the results coupled with legal challenges by the incumbent Tobias Kulang in the National and Supreme Courts.

The Supreme Court last Friday (25 August 2017) refused the stay application and restraining orders filed by Kulang on 16 August 2017 preventing the return of writ for Kundiawa-Gembogl and stopping the Electoral Commissioner from accepting the results and writ.

However, Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato accepted the Kundiawa-Gemgol writ at the PNGEC headquarters in Port Moresby after the Supreme Court recognized his powers as the Commissioner responsible for elections in Papua New Guinea.

The writ was returned this afternoon by the Returning Officer for Kundiawa-Gembogl Nixon Nembare who was accompanied by the MP-elect Willie Gogl Onglo and election officials under tight police escort.

"Now that the Supreme Court has recognized my powers as the Electoral Commissioner, I now recognize Willie Gogl Onglo as the duly elected Member-elect for Kundiawa-Gembogl Open and therefore accept the writ."

"Any aggrieved parties can pursue the matter further in the Court of Disputed Returns to dispute the results which is the appropriate forum to deal with election disputes."

Official final results after exclusion # 37 are as follows:

Willie Gogl Onglo - 15,499
Waghi Merimba - 12,798
Peter Kama - 10,927

Total formal ballot papers were 57,622 with 29,325 exhausted ballot papers.

The required absolute majority was 14,150. The winning candidate Willie Gogl Onglo received 55% of the votes to be declared winner.

This now leaves only the Southern Highlands Provincial Seat which is yet to complete counting and make a declaration to complete the 2017 National Election and have all the 111 Members in PNG's Tenth Parliament.

Media Consultant

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