(1) Subject to section 66(3), a petitioner must not withdraw or abandon, or cease to prosecute, an election petition unless the petitioner has obtained the leave of the Court. (Amended 48 of 1999 s. 40)
(2) At the hearing of an application for leave referred to in subsection (1)-
(a) any person who could have lodged an election petition in respect of the election concerned, or the Secretary for Justice, may apply to the Court to be substituted as petitioner; and
(b) the Court may, if it thinks appropriate, accordingly substitute that person or the Secretary for Justice.
(3) If an application to withdraw or abandon, or to cease to prosecute, an election petition is, in the opinion of the Court, induced by a corrupt bargain or the offer or giving of corrupt consideration, the Court may direct that the security given by or on behalf of the original petitioner is to remain as security for any costs that are incurred by the substituted petitioner. To the extent of such sum as the Court may direct, the original petitioner (and that original petitioner's sureties, if any) is to be liable to pay the costs of the substituted petitioner. (Amended 48 of 1999 s. 40)
(4) If the Court does not so direct, then before the substituted petitioner may proceed with the substituted election petition, security of the same amount as would be required to be given under section 66 in the case of an original petition must be given by or on behalf of that petitioner in the same manner and form, and within such period, as the Court directs. This subsection does not apply to the Secretary for Justice.
(5) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), a substituted petitioner stands in the same position as the original petitioner.
(6) If a petitioner is substituted for the original petitioner, the original petitioner must provide the substituted petitioner with all evidence available to the original petitioner and relevant to the continued prosecution of the election petition.
(7) The petitioner is liable to pay the costs of the respondent if-
(a) the election petition is withdrawn or abandoned; or
(aa) the election petition is taken to have been withdrawn under section 66(3); or (Added 48 of 1999 s. 40)
(b) the petitioner ceases to prosecute the petition.
(8) If there are 2 or more petitioners, an application to withdraw or abandon, or to cease to prosecute, the election petition can be made only with the consent of all the petitioners.
(9) Any person who-
(a) contravenes subsection (1); or
(b) without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with subsection (6),
commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine at level 2 and to imprisonment for 6 months.