Our Readers' Opinions
March 21, 2017
Was Justice Brian Cottle’s ruling wrong?

Editor: Sir Vincent Beache once said that elections in St Vincent and the Grenadines have been free and fair. After listening to the New Democratic Party, I sometimes wonder.

From what I’m hearing, there are questions that need to be answered from the December 2015 general elections. The NDP, through its candidates Lauron Baptiste and Benjamin Exeter, made allegations about things occurring in the 2015 elections which did not sit well with their party and caused them to lose their seats. The lawyers who are representing the NDP are: Stanley John QC, Keith Scotland, Ms Cummings, Ms Bacchus Baptiste and Ms Eustace. These lawyers are very experienced, so why is it I’m hearing the petitions were not filed in accordance with the law? Could they make any changes to the first petitions that were filed? Is it that Vincentians are being misled by the NDP and their lawyers?

If what I found out about the shortcomings of these lawyers in relation to the filing of the petitions are true, then these petitions would not go further than their first sitting.

What was said by Justice Brian Cottle may well be true, according to my findings, but after saying that the NDP is on a fishing expedition, he must realize that the NDP is now on a witch-hunt. The NDP based their appeal on saying that Justice Brian Cottle is biased and the Appeal Court agreed that there was the appearance of bias. That is very unfortunate for Justice Brian Cottle. So we are back to square one with these petitions.

While I pay close attention to these petitions and where they should take us, I truly believe it’s a waste of the court’s time by those lawyers who filed the petitions. According to the information I’ve received, the law was not followed and only time will tell. One may ask what are my thoughts on the petitions filed. What we are hearing is an allegation laced with misinformation.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, you said you’re not afraid of fresh elections; then why not call fresh elections? Our country is bleeding. Call the elections and put a stop to this crime that is taking place in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Prime Minister, you are in a privileged position to avoid another travesty of justice and condemnation by Vincentians towards Mr Cottle. Do the right thing – call the general election. St Vincent and the Grenadines will be better off. It’s time for unity to prevail in our blessed country… stop the division, because unity is the way forward. Peace, My Brother.

Alfred Bernard