Former Majuro Mayor Mudge Samuel continues to push his appeal of the Chief Electoral Officer’s decision denying his request for recounts and a special election.
In an amended notice of appeal filed last month, Samuel raises a series of questions regarding the 2015 national election that he wants the High Court to address.
The suit names Robson Almen in his capacity as Chief Electoral Officer, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Government of the RMI. It was filed by Samuel’s attorney Roy Chikamoto.
Among the many points raised in the five-page amended appeal, Samuel asks the High Court:
• Could the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) legally certify the final results of the general election for Mayor for Majuro Atoll Local Government held on 16 November 2015 when a petition for recount, reservation of right to a special election, and request for referral of questions to the High Court…was hand delivered to and received by the CEO on 15 December 2015 — a petition filed within the two-week period prescribed by 2 Marshall Islands Revised Code, Chapter 1, Section 180 (3)?”
• “In light of a recount in Rita Ward (one of 13) resulting in a net gain of 31 more votes by petitioner (Samuel), was it reasonable for the CEO to deny a petition for recount where there was obvious evidence of problems with tabulation?”
• “Was it reasonable (and even legal) for the CEO to allow postal votes to be pre-screened and vetted in private, outside of the view of the public and poll watchers, and to count only those postal ballots which were allowed to be counted after the private screening? Was this private screening a violation of the Ethics in Government Act and petitioners’s constitutional rights to due process and a fair election?”
• “To the extent that all of these violations of the Election and Referenda Act as well as the RMI Constitution affected the mayoral election held on 16 November 2015; when all of the violations are taken together, was it reasonable for the CEO to deny Plaintiff’s petition for recount and for a special election on the basis that the claimed violations would not have materially affected the outcome of the mayoral election for Majuro Atoll Local Government?”
The civil suit by Samuel is awaiting a reply from the RMI government and scheduling of a hearing.
Read more about this in the April 14, 2017 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.