Presidential Elections Act, 1993


Presidential Election Petitions

Questioning of presidential election.

57.—(1) A presidential election may, and may only, be questioned by a petition to the High Court (in this Act referred to as “a petition”) and the High Court shall give priority to a petition over any other business.

(2) A petition shall not be presented to the High Court unless that court, on application made to it in that behalf by or on behalf of the person proposing to present the petition not later than 7 days after the declaration by the presidential returning officer of the result of the election, by order grants leave to the person to do so.

(3) The High Court shall not grant leave under subsection (2) unless it is satisfied—

(a) that there is prima facie evidence of a matter referred to in subsection (7) in relation to which the petition questions the election concerned, and

(b) that the said matter is such as to affect materially the result of the presidential election.

(4) A petition shall be presented by being lodged in the Central Office of the High Court not later than 3 days after the grant of leave by the High Court under subsection (2) but a petition (other than a petition by the Director of Public Prosecutions) shall not be accepted in the Central Office unless the petitioner lodges in the Central Office with the petition security in the sum of £5,000 (or such lesser sum as that court may consider appropriate if it is satisfied that such lodgement of £5,000 could not be made by the petitioner or could cause him serious hardship) for any costs of the proceedings in relation to the petition which may become payable by the petitioner.

(5) The petitioner shall, as soon as may be, give a copy of the petition—

(a) to every person who was a candidate at the election,

(b) to the Minister,

(c) to the presidential returning officer,

(d) to any local returning officer concerned, and

(e) except in the case of a petition presented by the Director of Public Prosecutions, to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(6) An application to present a petition may be made by any of the following:

(a) the Director of Public Prosecutions,

(b) a person who was a candidate at the election concerned, or

(c) the election agent of a candidate at the election.

(7) A presidential election may be questioned on the grounds of the commission of an offence referred to in Part XXII of the Act of 1992 (as applied by section 59 ), obstruction of or interference with or other hindrance to the conduct of the election, or mistake or other irregularity which, if established, are likely to have affected the result of the election.

(8) Any party to a petition may appeal on a question of law to the Supreme Court against a decision of the High Court on the petition and subject to the foregoing the decision of the High Court shall be final and not appealable.

(9) At the trial of a petition the High Court shall determine the matter at issue in the petition and, if it does not dismiss the petition, shall, where appropriate, include in its order determining the matter at issue either—

(a) a declaration of the correct result of the election, or

(b) if it considers that it is unable to determine the correct result of the election, a declaration that the election or a specified part thereof was void together with a statement of its reasons for making the declaration.

(10) Where the court declares that a presidential election was void, a fresh election shall be held in accordance with this Act and the Minister shall, as soon as may be, make a presidential election order in respect of the fresh election.

(11) Where the court declares that part of a presidential election was void, the court may direct that the poll at the election shall be taken again in any constituency or part of a constituency and shall for that purpose fix the day on which and the period during which such poll shall be retaken and the provisions of this Act shall apply in relation to such taking with any necessary modifications.

(12) A copy of the order of the court determining the petition shall be given forthwith by the court to each of the following, namely, every person who was a candidate at the election, the Minister, the presidential returning officer, any local returning officer concerned and the Director of Public Prosecutions.