Palmer United Party federal leader and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, says millions of taxpayer dollars will be wasted due to the incompetence of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) which has resulted in the voters of Western Australia having to return to the polls for a second Senate election.
The Court of Disputed Returns has ruled that a second WA Senate election be held because of official bungling by the AEC in a recount of votes from the September poll.
Mr Palmer said the heads of AEC Commissioner Ed Killesteyn and other senior AEC management should roll over the fiasco.
“The AEC Commissioner and the others responsible for this debacle should resign as no one can have confidence in the AEC following the events of the past few months,” he said.
“We now have voters in WA forced back to the polls for a needless election that will cost taxpayers’ millions of dollars.
“Someone should be accountable for this mess.”
Mr Killesteyn agreed to a request for a recount from the Greens despite Palmer United Party candidate Dio Wang being declared the winner of the fifth Senate seat in WA.
During the recount, 1370 ballot papers went missing but the AEC upheld the result which saw the Greens Scott Ludlam and Australian Sports Party’s Wayne Dropulich take the last two Senate spots from Mr Wang and Labor’s Louise Pratt.
Mr Palmer said the AEC’s performance in WA and in the election for his Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax had been disgraceful.
“Certainly our experience from the 2013 federal election is that there are many issues with Australia’s voting system and the AEC needs urgent reform, starting with a cull of its senior management,” he said.