ELECTION RECOUNT?

SIEC advises aggrieved candidates to lodge petition with High Court

BY NED GAGAHE

The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) has clarified that the appropriate avenue to request re-count is with the court through petition not the SIEC.

SIEC Chief Electoral Officer Jasper Anisi made the clarification during a press conference yesterday in light of speculations that certain aggrieved candidates were disappointed with counting process and want a re-count.

According to Anisi the Returning Officers, after making the declarations of the winning candidates under section 106 of the Electoral Act, and notifying the Commission of the full results, the Returning Officers could not review their own decisions. The Returning Officers were in legal terms considered “functus officio”.

Anisi said that the only authority able to review the decisions of the Returning Officers is the High Court of Solomon Islands.

“Any request for vote recount has to be lodged through the High Court.

“The appropriate place to request recount is with the court through petition not the SIEC.

“Commission can’t do anything because the RO’s have already discharged their duties.”

He further explained that the Electoral Act provides for the types of petitions.

“Everyone has the right to invoke those process, it is there in the Electoral Act, the types of petitions that you can do to petition results, what we are saying here is that, because the courts will decide whether those complains or allegations have substance or not, if not they (the court) can dismiss it on frivolous claims (claims which lacks any arguable basis).

“So, with electoral provisions, as soon as Returning Officer (RO) discharge their duties, they cannot go back and corrected anything. So, technically in law no one is there to do your recount.”

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