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NDP supporters were angered by the Friday's adjournment.
NDP supporters were angered by the Friday’s adjournment.
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Hearing of the two petitions contesting the results of the December 2015 general elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been postponed to June 16.

High Court judge, Justice Brian Cottle said on Friday that the adjournment was necessary because the government printer had failed to publish the notice, as required by law.

Stanley “Stalky” John, QC, lawyer for the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), which filed the petition, told reporters outside the High Court that the rules require that the trial date be published before a matter is heard.

He said the judge said that after the May 12 sitting in which Friday was set as the trial date, the Government Printing Officer was instructed to publish the date, pursuant to the rules.

However, this was not done.

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The NDP is challenging the results of the election in Central Leeward and North Windward in the general elections, which electoral officials say the Unity Labour Party won by one seat, a repeat of the 2010 election results.

Friday’s development is the latest in a number of legal twists and maneuverers in the case.

The government is contending that the petitions were improperly filed and should be dismissed.

The NDP, however, has dismissed this as a technicality that does not affect their case in any material way, even as it says it has compelling evidence that the elections were flawed.

John said that his legal team continues to prepare.

“We are doing our jobs as lawyers and we have put the case before the court and it is a matter for the court,” he told reporters.

Supporters of the NDP who had gathered outside the court responded angrily to news of the adjournment, saying the government orchestrated it.

Speaking separately outside the courthouse, NDP president and Leader of the Opposition, Arnhim Eustace described the non-publication of the notice as a delay tactic on the part of the Ralph Gonsalves administration.

“They are afraid to have the evidence that we have for the petitions aired in court. And therefore, every deliberate effort is being made to try and block the hearing of the petitions,” Eustace said.

He, however, said that patience is running out.

“People are getting more and more angry about what is happening… And this is a very serious situation that is developing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. People are of the view that the process is being deliberately held back and something has to be done about this,” Eustace said.

7 replies on “Election petitions case adjourned after gov’t fails to print notice”

  1. C. ben-David says:

    Deliberate delay tactic? If this were only true!

    Nearly every error in our poor little accident-prone country is chronically attributed to wickedness when, as I have repeatedly stated, it is due mainly to incompetence, slough, indifference, disorganization.

    It is also more than ironic that the NDP calls their own incompetence in filing the election petitions a trivial technicality not worthy of legal consideration while claiming that the erroneously printed ballots and other election irregulaties a deliberate and organized effort to steal the election by the ULP.

    Also, could it be that the NDP deliberately filed their claim erroneously because the party knew they would never be able to overturn the election results? Which party is actually trying to use deceitful tactics?

    Any well functioning society must have, follow, and enforce a consistent set of procedures in a whole variety of substantive areas. The fact that we observe so many established procedures by breaching them, means we art not a well functioning society.

    1. You are probably right about the incompetence, slothness and such but I heard months ago that the government was going to do anything they could to delay as much as possible. Obviously the goal is to delay to the point where the public is either sick of it or does not care anymore. There is already enough information made public to warrant a re-election in those constituencies. The proven bias and votes cast by people that did not vote shows foul play, as well as the evidence of incompetence means there certainly should be a re-election. If there is not, SVG looks even worse than incompetent.

    2. Jeannine James says:

      Hey C. ben-David, pull down your skirt; your petticoat is showing. Either you do that or hitch up your petticoat because it’s ragged and torn…..

  2. Watching Hard says:

    So if this matter is heard in June the result may come out in the middle of carnival. Of course at that time people only have rum party and woman to study. Hmm

  3. Jeannine James says:

    You have a right an opinion like all of us but your suggestion that because of the frequency of errors in the country, it is absolutely not a delaying tactic is bordering on the same sort of wilful mis-education which has been a staple of Vincentian life for over 20 years now. Absurd! And you know it.

  4. To blame the printery is pretty typical I would say. This is just another slight of hand that was not so slight.

    Of course it was done on purpose, we must delay the matter in the courts until fresh instructions are received from the Cubans this week.

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