CANBERRA (Australia): The electoral victories of Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Liberal MP Gladys Liu were challenged in the High Court.
The court challenge was filed by the failed candidate in year’s federal election.
The unsuccessful independent candidate Oliver Yates has the victory of Frydenberg in the seat of Kooyong. The candidate has joined hands with a mysterious voter from Ms Liu’s seat of Chisholm to launch a legal bid to have the results in both electorates ruled invalid.
The challenges centre on Chinese-language Liberal Party posters that appeared at voting booths on election day, which they said were designed to deceive voters.
Documents filed to the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, claimed the posters imitated official Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) material and were therefore in breach of electoral laws that make misleading and deceptive conduct illegal.
The posters, which featured the AEC’s distinctive purple and white colouring and were written in Chinese, instructed voters at polling stations that the “correct way to vote” was to place a “1” next to the name of the Liberal candidate on the ballot paper.
They were officially authorised by the Liberal Party’s Victorian state director in small text at the bottom of the poster.
Mr Yates flagged on Friday that he would begin the legal action this week, but a challenge to Ms Liu’s knife-edge victory in Chisholm appeared unlikely after Labor indicated it would not dispute the result in that seat.
But now Ms Liu has been swept into the proceedings after Mr Yate’s legal team began representing a Chisholm voter named Leslie Hall.
Marque Lawyers principal Michael Bradley, who is acting in both matters, would not go into detail about how Ms Hall became involved in the proceedings.
“She is a private citizen, she is an elector in Chisholm and she made the decision that she was sufficiently unhappy about the conduct of the Liberal Party on election day,” Mr Bradley told the ABC.