Members of Parliament from the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) walked out of the House of Assembly after being sworn in on Tuesday, as they continued to protest the results of the Dec. 9 general elections.
“We come to Parliament for a legal reason, because under the rules, we can lose our seats,” Leader of the Opposition, Arnhim Eustace, told reporters along the picket line on Tuesday before going into Parliament to take the oath.
Eustace had announced on Dec. 12 that elected NDP candidates would not take their seats in Parliament in protest of the December poll, which he says the NDP won.
He later backed away from that decision, citing legal advice.
Electoral officials say that the NDP won seven of the 15 seats, while the Unity Labour Party won eight, and a fourth consecutive term in office.
“We are making a statement here. The statement is we don’t recognise this regime. We are here for legal reasons only.”
The High Court on Monday refused an application for NDP candidate for Central Leeward, Ben Exeter, to access counterfoils from ballots cast in that constituency, for which he was the NDP’s candidate.
The NDP is claiming victory in Central Leeward, which has been declared won by the ULP’s Sir Louis Straker by a margin of 313 votes.
“Well, the court has ruled, they have a right to rule; I don’t agree with the ruling,” Eustace told reporters.
He said the NDP will decide today (Wednesday) when it meets, whether it will appeal the ruling.”