Chief Justice Coxhead issue first instructions on election petition filed by Birtha Lisimoni-Togahai
The day after the official results of the general elections of Saturday 29th April were released after 6pm Monday 1st May, Mrs Birtha Lisimoni-Togahai filed a petition to the High Court seeking a recount of the votes from the villages of Mutalau, Hikutavake and Tuapa.
The petition allege that the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Darren Tohovaka did not comply with section 66 of the Assembly Act in that he did not make arrangements for the candidate to nominate or arrange for a scrutineer and that the Chief Electoral Officer did not give notice in writing to the candidates to have a scrutineer present.
Sources revealed to BCN News the directions of Chief Justice Coxhead received on Tuesday afternoon, giving the Chief Electoral Officer Darren Tohovaka until 12 o’clock today, if he so wish to file a response to the petition.
Judge Coxhead also directed that the copy of his decision be distributed to all the candidates of the common roll seats.
On Saturday night after 10pm, the provisional results were released signed by the CEO and deputy CEO Richard Siataga announcing that there was a tie in the results for the 6th seat of the Common Roll, a tie between Birtha Lisimoni-Togahai and Sonya Talagi both received equal votes of 364 each.
After the recount on Monday 1st May, the final results were released after 6pm signed by the CEO and deputy CEO changing the outcome of the tie and declaring the sixth seat of the Common Roll to Sonya Talagi with 362 votes and Birtha Lisimoni-Togahai at number seven with 360 votes.
Meanwhile, Premier Dalton Tagelagi has indicated that he would prefer the opening of the 18th Assembly to begin as soon as possible, but he is consulting with his officials, he has indicated Friday this week for the opening of the 18th Fono Ekepule.
BCN News will update on the developments to this story as information comes to hand.