MORE ELECTION PETITIONS

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By Alfred Sasako

FOUR election petitions have been filed to the High Court in the last two days as dateline for lodging the petition will close on Monday.

There are indications of more petitions to be filed before the deadline on May 20.

Of the four petitions, half are against two newcomers who won parliamentary seats for the first time in the April 3 National General Election (NGE).

The two newcomers are Hon Jamie Vokia who won the North-East Guadalcanal seat and Hon Fika who won the West Kwaio seat.

The North East Guadalcanal seat was once held by former Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua, who lodged the petition in the High Court yesterday.

Central Kwara’ae’s Hon Jackson Filua’s victory too has been challenged in a petition lodged in the High Court earlier this week.

The first petition in this year’s election was filed by Harry Philip who unsuccessfully contested the Lau/Mbaelelea Constituency on Malaita. Hon Augustine Auga, now Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development, retained the seat.

Mr Philip’s case is being listed for pre-hearing on June 4.

Island Sun understands that up to four more petitions could be filed before the deadline on Monday.

Members of the public have expressed their opinions that the 2019 NGE is the worst national general election ever given the scale of alleged bribery and double voting.

In one Constituency on Malaita for example, a presiding officer unilaterally decided the night before the election on April 3 to move one officially designated polling station to a village several kilometres away without prior permission from the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission.

Rumours of bribery were also widespread in nearly all 50 Constituencies.

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