10 Jan 2011

Tonga Supreme Court receives election petitions

4:38 pm on 10 January 2011

The Supreme Court in Tonga has received two petitions from unsuccessful candidates regarding the November 2010 elections.

A supreme court registrar Fred Tuita says a candidate of the Vava'u 14 constituency, Siale Fifita claims the winner overspent the permitted amount on his campaign, carried out election propaganda beyond the cut-off date and is also alleging cases of bribery.

Mr Tuita says a businessman, Siosaia Moehau who was four votes behind the winner of the Tongatapu 6 consituency is convinced he won the seat as he believes there were a number of irregularities.

"Some of the grounds stated are: voting twice, which is false impersonation; another one was lack of police control; and the other grounds is voting after declaration of the ballots; and the last but not least is voting after 4pm, that was when the voting was supposed to have ceased."

Fred Tuita says the Supreme Court is now waiting for the election supervisor and his council to file a defence.