Supreme Court Justices Seek to Amend the Law to Create More Time For 2021 Poll Petitions
During a four-day symposium which the justices discussed how best to handle petitions that could arise out of the 2021 general elections, justices sought to have the law amended to create more time to handle petitions raised from 2021 polls.
Chief Justice, Owiny-Dollo, said the time is not enough and because of the time constraints, most issues in the petition are not given crucial determination and evaluation.
“We are going to hold the presidential election in the mid-January. The terms of the current president end in May 2021, so the question is; what is the two weeks all about? What is the rush for? We need ample time to handle the matter,” he said.
Currently, Section 59 of the Presidential Elections Act of 2020 requires aggrieved parties to file presidential election petitions within fifteen days from the declaration of the results.
The same provision requires the court to hear and determine the petition with 45 days from the date of the filing.
Owiny-Dollo urged justices to judge objectively despite their political positions.
“The court must never play politics when handling the petitions because if it plays politics, then it is the political ideology which will be in the judgement something which is very wrong. The court must pronounce itself on what the law is, “he noted.