30 Nov 2012

Judge dismisses election dispute case in Marshall Islands

1:55 pm on 30 November 2012

An election dispute complaint has been dismissed by the Marshall Islands High Court, eleven months after it was filed, with the court ruling the losing candidates did not exhaust remedies provided under the law.

Judge James Plasman's ruling outlined a number of errors made by the three candidates in their filing of the complaints to the Chief Electoral Officer and the High Court.

Losing parliament candidates Amenta Matthew and Gerald Zackios, and losing mayoral candidate Eldon Note sought court action to void hundreds of postal absentee ballots from Marshall Islanders living in the United States.

They said the votes were not properly certified, and tipped the results in favour of their opponents in last year's election.

Judge Plasman says while a legal controversy exists over the postal ballots the petitioners had failed to follow and exhaust the remedies under the Elections and Referenda Act.