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Prebble: Urgent Hearing Sought

Prebble: Urgent Hearing Sought

ACT Leader Richard Prebble said today he is applying for leave from the Court of Appeal for a special urgent hearing of the Court to squash the High Court ruling preventing him from invoking the Electoral Integrity Act in the case of former ACT MP, now independent, Donna Awatere Huata.

"The Court has adjourned for its Christmas break but is available for urgent matters. The makeup of parliament is an urgent matter. Parliament is meeting and Mrs Huata is voting as an independent MP.

"The Electoral Integrity Act is designed to ensure that members of Parliament do not party hop.

"I have taken legal advice and have had my own view confirmed that there is absolutely no merit in Mrs Huata's legal case. It is simply an outrage that Mrs Huata can remain a Member of Parliament because she has filed legal proceedings and the Court can't hear the matter until February.

"MPs are Members of Parliament all year round not just when the House is meeting. While Parliament may adjourn next week, I have been in Parliamentary sittings up until the 23rd December, and twice I have been in Parliaments that have been unexpectedly recalled during January. The public would be rightly outraged if a law was passed on Mrs Huata's vote.

"I am hopeful that the Court of Appeal will grant me an urgent hearing before Parliament meets on Tuesday, and if it does, I am confident that the High Court injunction will be lifted and the Electoral Integrity Act will be able to work as intended.

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