January 8, 2016
Recent ruling by judge has nothing to do our petitions – Eustace

The recent refusal by the court to grant an application made by the New Democratic Party (NDP) has nothing to do with the election petitions filed by the party to contest the results of the December 9 general elections.

This point was stressed Monday by president of the NDP and Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace, as he spoke on the New Times programme on Nice Radio.

Eustace stressed that the judgement that was recently handed down by justice Brian Cottle does not affect what the party is doing now.

“And I want to remind people … the matter which they did not succeed with, in the court a couple weeks ago, doesn’t affect what we are doing now.”

The Opposition Leader explained that the judgment passed was against their application to have the ballot boxes from the Central Leeward constituency removed from the office of the supervisor of elections and stored elsewhere.

“That was a judgment that the judge gave because we wanted the election ballots and so on stored in another place other than the supervisor of elections’ (SOE) office and be put under the control of the court through the registrar. That is what we didn’t succeed in. They didn’t agree to move it away from the supervisor of elections…,” Eustace explained.

He explained that his party applied for the boxes to be removed because the returning officer for the Central Leeward constituency, a seat the NDP is contesting, had been in the office of the supervisor of elections on a Sunday.

“The judgment in that matter was given on the 28th of December, two days before we filled any election petition. So, don’t get confused by that. I want people to understand that,” Eustace reiterated.

On December 28, 2015, High Court judge Brian Cottle dismissed an application made by the NDP candidate for Central Leeward Benjamin Exeter for the supervisor of elections to produce forthwith all ballot boxes in her custody in the constituency of Central Leeward.

Additionally Exeter’s application also asked, that the said ballot boxes be opened by the registrar in the presence of the applicant and the applicant be permitted to inspect all the ballot papers therein and that the sealed packets containing the counterfoils in the ballot boxes be opened by the registrar in the presence of the applicant and the applicant be permitted to inspect and open the packets of counterfoils.

The NDP filed two election petitions on December 31, 2015.(CM)