The NDP is challenging the results of the vote in Central Leeward. (iWN file photo)

The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) wants the two petitions it filed contesting the results of the December 2015 general elections to be heard on their merits.

The respondents had convinced High Court judge, Justice Brian Cottle, to throw out the petition as improperly filed last June.

But the Court of Appeal reinstated the petitions on Tuesday and sent them back to the High Court for hearing, saying that Cottle showed apparent bias in his handling of the case.

It is widely anticipated that the respondents will again ask the court to throw out the petitions.

But lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, speaking at an NDP press conference on Thursday, said that the right to vote in free and fair elections is one of the most sacred and fundamental rights in a democratic society.

She said that in the petition involving Ezechiel Joseph (the petitioner) and Alvina Reynolds (the respondent) in St. Lucia in 2012, the court said “there is a high public interest in promoting democracy by ensuring that election cases are determined on their merits” and that “the constitutional guaranteed right to access and fairness should be facilitated by our courts”.

Bacchus-Baptiste said she mentioned that court because that the Unity Labour Party respondents are trying to strike the case out even before it begins.

“And the law is, what we should do is to ensure that these rights are guaranteed and ensure that our case is heard. That is the aim.”

She noted that the matter has been sent back to the High Court and explained that this means that the matter is before the court and the petitioners are going to prepare for trial.

Bacchus-Baptiste said the motion to throw out the petitions was filed, so it is still before the court.

“But, the aim, really, because of the high public interest is that the case should be determined on its merits. It means that the petitions should be heard because we have a very strong and powerful petition in both of the constituencies, North Windward as well as Central Leeward, and it should be determined on its merits.”

2 replies on “NDP wants petitions heard on their merit”

  1. The ULP will do everything to keep the petitions from being heard because they know that the election was “fudged”. So far the goal has been to delay, delay, delay, and hope it can be delayed until it is time to call the next election. You would think Ralph would call the election as soon as possible before the people get time to get to know Godwin Friday, who certainly has more integrity than Ralph. The raise in taxes will give him more money for lumber and galvanize. They may pay an airline to come here to give the appearance that the airport is a success, otherwise the people will begin to notice that there are more staff in the airport than passengers, and people will soon have to be layed-off, while those left will have to multi-task.

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