Lawyers call for dissolution of Boundaries Commission
News
September 7, 2010
Lawyers call for dissolution of Boundaries Commission

Lawyers acting on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition and its representative on the Boundaries Commission, are calling for the Boundaries Commission to be disbanded, as they are of the view it can no longer make decisions that are in the best interest of the country.{{more}}

Lawyer Bertram Commissiong related that during deliberations of the Commission, Selwyn Jones “fell out of favour” with the other commissioners because he disapproved of the way they were going about their duties.

When the matter was brought up in Court, the two other commissioners, Auldric Williams and Arthur Williams, signed an affidavit accusing Jones of lying – which has since been withdrawn.

At a press conference held on Friday, September 3, 2010, lawyer Kay Bacchus-Browne explained: “We are not here saying that the work of the Commission should not be carried out per se. However, what we are saying is not that commission.”

“The Commission, as appointed, is tainted!” she said.

Commissiong added that the Government is now seeking to issue a new Boundaries Report – after the High Court ruled, on July 9, in favour of an injunction that prohibits the publication of the original report – but that Jones would not support this move.

“He (Jones) has no confidence in them and they have no confidence in him,” Commissiong said. “It seems, therefore, that this Commission ought not to be allowed to continue to make serious decisions in St. Vincent.”

Commissiong further said that this latest move by the Government was “no doubt trying to correct all the errors the judge pointed out,” but that this was not the way to go about it.

Lawyer and President of the Human Rights Association Nicole Sylvester questioned: “Do you (the public) feel that the Commission can purge themselves of all those prejudicial matters they took into account… and then make a new report that you would go to the polls and say ‘I feel this is fair’?”

Acknowledging that he has not done the necessary research on the matter, Commissiong said that he was doubtful that the Commission would be allowed to issue a new report “in the circumstances of the constitutional arrangement… in St Vincent and the Grenadines”.

The matter in which Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace accused the Boundaries Commission of acting outside its authority will be heard on September 30.(JV)