Politics

Election petitions hearing on Monday

A hearing in the election petitions is scheduled to take place before Justice Nicola Byer next Monday, iWitness News has been reliably informed.

This may be an indication that Justice Byer will replace Justice Esco Henry, who recused herself last week.

Next week’s hearing is expected to be more of a case-management exercise, sources say.

Justice Henry recused herself on Dec. 4, after learning that 12 matters were listed for her to preside over between Dec. 3 and 7, the week that the court was initially scheduled to hear oral testimonies in the case.

On Nov. 30, Justice Henry had granted an application to adjourn the hearing to Feb. 11, because of the illness of Grahame Bollers, a lawyer for the government.

Lawyer Kay-Bacchus-Baptiste, a lawyer for the petitioner, said that the judge, in announcing her recusal, said that the public would be left with the impression that she knew that her schedule would have been cleared, hence the listing of the 12 matters.

The Registrar of the High Court is said to be investigating how the matters came to be listed for hearing by the judge.

Last week, Bacchus-Baptiste, at a press conference of the main opposition New Democratic Party said that the petitioners were concerned that the recusal would further delay the cases which were filed in December 2015.

Benjamin “Ben” Exeter and Lauron “Sharer” Baptiste of the NDP are challenging the announced victories of Sir Louis Straker and Montgomery Daniel in Central Leeward and North Windward in the Dec. 9, 2015 polls.

Those were two of the eight districts that electoral officials say the Unity Labour Party won in the 15-member parliament to secure a fourth consecutive term in office.

Bacchus-Baptiste told the media that the petitioners’ legal team was going to write to the Chief Justice about the development.

“Our main concern is that this matter be heard expeditiously, that the date that was set for the status hearing in January and for the trial in February would be kept so that a judge would be appointed with sufficient time that can bring the judge up to date with this copious amount of volumes, because there are about nine or 10 volumes that he or she would have to go through to get up to date, but it is possible, because Justice Henry did it. She had to get up to date.

“Of course, there is more material now, but our jurists are brilliant enough to be able to do that. We just need to do with sufficient time and someone who would be competent to do that,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.

Comments (2)

  1. The ndp is just wasting their time. They should be concentrating on winning the next election by put in place the laws and remedies that would result in a repetition of what transpired in 2015.

    Instead of that they are exposing there flaws especially the China Taiwan issue. They don’t have a clue as to how to manage foreign affairs. The top echelon of the ndp are stubborn , they don’t listen to any one. They are aware of the fact that we VincentIan have a love for Taiwan because of the enormous help they have given us both financially and educationally.

    Although I have no love for Camillo and his group, ndp policies will ensure the is five in a row.

    • Respectfully, I don’t really agree with your assessment. To me, it looks like the ULP is not doing a good job running the country. But, I don’t live in SVG. However, I think that we need a change in government. Let us give the NDP a chance to see if they can make things better in SVG. If they don’t we can always vote them out next time. The Gonsalves government, besides the new 700 million dollar airport, they have done little to improve the lives of Vincentians. Whenever I see other Caribbean countries doing way better than us, it really saddens me intensely. We have so many talented persons in SVG but they all leave because they don’t have a secure future in SVG. What bothers me more is that the ruling elite is living like kings while most of the country is living in abject poverty. This must not be allowed to continue.
      So many bright young people with no prospect of security. This is shameful. I blame the government. SVG has delegations traveling the globe to no avail. A lot of people are complaining. Next ten years we will probably have zero progress. We need a fresh start for the sake of our children. Crime is out of control. Children are sexually abused constantly. Our country is in a big mess. let us change course. We have to otherwise, we will see no betterment. We deserve better. Taiwan China or whoever. We can’t go on like this. God help us.

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