Founder of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell has described as “misdemeanours” the irregularities in the 2015 poll that have become public in the ongoing petitions case.

“The question is, also: let me go back to the fundamentals of the petitions. Granted that there are misdemeanours — lovely word, you don’t have to say mistakes, misdemeanours on the part of the supervisor of elections and ultimately on the government, because they’re responsible for everything in the government — are those misdemeanours adequate to convince the judge that they affected the election?

“That isn’t if the misdemeanours convince Son Mitchell or Bing Joseph or Mario or anybody in your studio. Do the misdemeanours convey to the judge that the numbers were affected?” he said Tuesday on Boom FM.  

Sir James noted that this is for the judge alone to decide.

He said the issues being decided in the petitions case are all about the people and what is being debated is “the legal framework within which the people express their opinion”.

He praised the efforts of Queen’s Counsel Stanley “Stalky” John, the NDP’s lead counsel in the Central Leeward petition case.

The NDP is also challenging the outcome of the vote in North Windward and the High Court is slated to hand down its ruling on March 21.

“If nothing else happens, I will go so far to say that this is an important milestone in Stalky John’s career. He has exposed irregularities with regard to democracy in St. Vincent and I thank him and he should be appreciated for that, along with his team. But he is the one that led the charges and he has exposed irregularities in St. Vincent’s process of election.”

Stanley “Stalky” John, QC, left, and other members of the NDP’s legal team chat on Feb. 14, 2019, day four of the trial. (iWN photo)

Sir James said that the NDP should take a political rather than legal decision regarding appealing the court ruling, should it not be favourable to the party.

“We have now established that we now have irregularities, thanks to Stalky John and them; concentrate, in my view, on the next election, and getting your ducks lined up. Now is the time.”

Regarding who should be blamed for the irregularities, Sir James said:

“Blaming somebody doesn’t solve the issue. It’s going forward what we do.”

He said the question of who should take responsibilities for the irregularities in Central Leeward is “irrelevant”.

“I’m not into the blame game. I am into solutions today and tomorrow… I don’t think it helps democracy in this country. To help democracy, we must deal with the future. This question of blaming and looking in the past doesn’t help you looking towards the future.  The important thing about blaming is establishing the facts. Did something go wrong? Who did the things wrong? In other words, the important thing is establishing the facts about what is wrong and how you are going to correct it,” he said.

He further said, “The mood of the people for change” is ahead of the NDP, but did not elaborate.

12 replies on “Sir James says 2015 election ‘irregularities’ are ‘misdemeanours’”

  1. C. ben-David says:

    A misdemeanor is a criminal offense. This is a civil trial so this offense is not at issue since the judge will not rule on whether it took place or not.

    Of course, this does not preclude further legal action based on a charge being made by the Director of Public Prosecution against various electoral officials, including Winston Gaymes.

  2. Can this man not just be quiet for a while until the eventual decision is reached and announced by the trial Judge? Can the nation not be left to itself to mull over the events of the past Court hearings?

    Is it not high time both he and Ralph Gonsalves depart from the dark stage that they command and rule and leave us alone to forge our own way in a new world free of Colonials who see themselves as our rescuers and or saviours, protectors and deliverers?

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Like any citizen, Sir James has a right to express himself on important national issues. Blame Boom FM for not hanging up on his call to the station and IWN for reporting his words which both media houses as private sector entities had a legal right to deny airing.

      But please don’t attack Sir James for exercising the free speech rights grants to all of us in our wonderful British imposed constitution.

    2. Yes James H. This time your comment is too short. Sir James seems to go back and forth from being NDP and an accolade of the ULP. This time he is for the ULP. What he should have said, as a former head of state, is:
      Rules and laws are created for a purpose. Any real legal professional, such as a judge, should know this. When so very many laws have been PURPOSEFULLY broken there has to be a punishment, or a precedent gets set that NOT obeying the laws is fine. What is the point of having laws if powerful people can just spit on them and only the weak have to obey? How can we criticize the US Government (in Venezuela and elsewhere) when ours acts the same way within our country?
      A head of state saying it is fine to disobey laws makes Sir James part of the problem. It is not in keeping with a democratic society. James H, you are right in saying he and Ralph should shut up and stop encouraging our society to believe that the elites are above the law and can do anything they wish and get away with it.
      I bet that in private, some of these people even believe murder is fine as long as the murderer is an elite that murders a “useless eater” in order to get more power.

      1. C. ben-David says:

        What proof do you have that the election laws were “PURPOSEFULLY” broken?

        None, you say, except that your mind telling you this. I thought so.

  3. NOT A SUPPORTER OF JAMES BUT I BELIEVE HE IS ON THE CORRECT PATH ……..DO THE COMMON MISTAKES CONSTITUTE FRAUD OR INTENT TO OBSTRUCT A FAIR ELECTIONS ??? ….THE THRESHOLD WAS NOT REACHED IN THIS CASE AMD ONLY THE JUDGE AS JAMES SAY CAN DECIDE .
    MOST IF NOT ALL OF THE MISTAKES HERE HAPPENS ON A COMMON BASES IN MANY OTHER CONTRIES …….SPOILED BALLOTS , PEOPLE VOTING IN WRONG POLLING STATIONS , MISHANDLING OF BALLOTS ETC. …VERY COMMON SIMPLE .

    1. AL, No, you are wrong. These laws are not broken all the time all over the world except in the USA. In other countries with much larger populations when these things do happen it is rare and miniscule, (although it has gotten much larger and become very significant in the voting-corrupt system in the USA). Even if most people do not really like Trump, Hillary would have been far worse. It has been proven that she cheated during the US Election at a scale never before seen in US History but nothing happened to her. She did not even come under investigation! I am not a fan of the terrible economic system in Venezuela but there is no evidence, according to hundreds of foreign observers, including from the USA, that any misconduct occured to favor Maduro. This is a UN established fact. It is now proven that all kinds of irregularities occured in SVG.
      According to those that left comments to my comment, none of the irregularities were done on purpose. The man that counted ballots he KNEW TO BE ILLEGAL AT THE TIME did so by accident? Losing the paperwork that had the results for an entire district is perfectly find. They just disappeared off the face of the earth, never to be found again. Nothing strange about that, just an accident. Handing out building materials at election times is always just a coincidence. Redistricting and allowing Nigerian students and non-citizens to vote is how it is everywhere?. Non-citizens voting?…sounds like a Hillary Clinton or US Democrat stunt to me. The ballot paper was changed, although the old design worked perfectly and there was never a complaint from anyone. The design was changed just because someone got bored? Oh no! none of this and all the other things were done on purpose…all accidental!.
      All those proven events never happened. Those people never admitted it in court. It was just my mind telling me this…LOL!
      Wake-up C.Ben! you only see what you want to see to support your ULP. You tell others they cannot accept the truth but you should first look in the mirror.
      It is apparent to me that the judge will rule in favor of the ULP, he indicated that during the trial by not letting the most important evidence come to light. He blocked it. James Mitchell sees this too. He cares more about himself and appearing to always be right than caring about democracy or the country. That is why he has come out with the anti-democratic statements lately. He just wants to puff his chest out and say: “See, I was right.”

  4. Why does Mitchell love to be in the news from time to time? Because it strokes his aging ego, I guess. Why else would he be acting as he is toward Gonsalves is anybody guess. this behavior can also mean that he is dissatisfied with his own ex-party. He is retired and out of politics but he remains a public figure and should be more careful making statements to the media, especially concerning his ex political party.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      He is a Vincentian national and patriot like you and me and has every right to speak and write about anything he wants including polticial issues regardless of whether his views are correct or not.

      How you grudge the man so? Don’t you know that you will be old someday too?

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