ST. VINCENT: – The lawyer representing the Leader of the Opposition’s representative on the Boundaries Commission has suggested that the Commission be disbanded, citing a lack of confidence among the parties.
The Commission is charged with determining the location of two additional constituencies Parliament approved in March.
It comprises chairman Auldric Williams, who represents the Governor General; Arthur Williams, who represents the Prime Minister; and, Selwyn Jones, the Leader of the Opposition’s representative.
Opposition leader Arnhim Eustace has taken the Commission to court, saying that it acted outside its constitutional authority. (Go to the homepage to subscribe to I Witness-News)
A trial on those matters is slated for Sept. 30 and the High Court on Aug. 24 continued a July 9 injunctions that prohibits the publication of the Commission’s boundaries report of July 9.
Jones’ lawyer, Bertram Commissiong, said on Friday, Sept. 3, that since the other commissioners have accused Jones of lying and collusion, the Commission can no longer make decision that are in the best interest of the country.
The Commissioners have since withdrawn the accusing statement, the lawyer said.
The Commission met on Thursday, Sept. 2, but adjourned the meeting to next Wednesday, Sept. 8, so that both sides could seek legal advice on the way forward.
Commissiong, however, said that Jones would not support moves to issue a new order.
“… [H]ow can they — those three persons — ever sit down again and determine matters in the best interest of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He (Jones) has no confidence in [them] and they have no confidence in him. It seems to us therefore that this commission ought not to be allowed to make serious decisions in St. Vincent,” Commissiong told reporters.
Kay Bacchus-Browne, who, along with Nicole Sylvester, represents Eustace in the constitutional matter, expressed similar sentiments.
“We are not here saying that the work of the commission should not be carried on per se. However, what we are saying is, not that Commission! Not that commission! Because, we are saying that the commission, as appointed, is tainted,” Bacchus-Browne said.
Commissiong said he believed that the Commission was advised that it would not win a trial of the constitutional matter.
He believed that the other commissioners were trying to save face and circumvent the court when they called the Sept. 2 meeting hoping to withdraw the report of July 9. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)
“They are now trying to retrieve the situation. Because, if you read that judgement yourself, you don’t have to be a lawyer to see that the court agrees with Mr Eustace’s position that what is being done was improper. I mean, it is patent from the evidence… and therefore they feel that they would lose that in the long run,” Commissiong said.
He said that while he had not done the relevant researched, he was “doubtful” that the Commission could issue a new report “in the circumstances of the Constitutional arrangement we have in St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.
Commissiong further said Jones would not support attempts to issues a new report in light of the pending trial.
“The way forward, clearly, is that they want to do a new order — a new report and a new order. No doubt, trying to correct all the errors the judge pointed out and which the applicant, Mr. Eustace, pointed out that they made. … Mr. Jones still stands apart from them in this respect. He is not with them,” Commissiong said.