Opposition Leader and president of the New Democratic Party, Godwin Friday addresses the party’s rally in Layou last Saturday. (iWN photo)

The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) was so convinced that it had a strong case in the election petitions that it was prepared to pursue them up to the day before the next general election.

“We always told you that we had confidence that once the matter goes to trial that the people of this country will believe that the complaints that were made by the New Democratic Party were just and right,” Opposition Leader and NDP president, Godwin Friday told a party rally in Layou on Saturday.

The rally came at the end of the hearing of oral evidence in the petitions that the NDP has filed, challenging the results in Central Leeward and North Windward in the December 2015 general election.

A ruling in the matter is slated for March 21.

Friday said that when the NDP filed the petitions, the party knew that they had strong cases.

He noted that Senator Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, who is also a lawyer in the case and spoke before him at the rally, had recounted the evidence.

Friday noted that Bacchus-Baptiste had spoken of the “mutilated ballot”, ballots without the official marks and those that did not confirm to the law, and the “irregularities and illegalities” that were recounted and confirmed in the evidence in the trial.

“We told you so long ago, that was what we were saying, what we observed. This was not a matter of just making up something, or sour grapes because they say that NDP didn’t win the election,” Friday said.

“What we were standing up for was democracy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We were standing up, not just for the NDP. We were and continue to stand up for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, not just for the people who voted for the NDP.

“It’s for everybody and I say if I was the only person standing up, and I know I would not be, that I would pursue this matter because I knew it was just and it was right. And I have seen in the evidence that has come out in the court that it has confirmed the outcry that we made in 2015 after the elections. And we will continue to pursue it. We ain’t reach the end yet.”

In November 2016, Friday took over from Arnhim Eustace as opposition leader and NDP president.

He decided to continue the petitions, which were filed under Eustace’s leadership.

The petitions have had a long history in the court, having been dismissed by High Court judge, Justice Brian Cottle as improperly filed, only to have the decision overturned by the Appeal Court, which ruled that Cottle’s decision showed apparent bias.

Friday said it was the government’s intention to delay the case until the next election.

“But you know what their strategy was? This matter was never supposed to come to court. It was never supposed to go to trial. It was supposed to be delay after delay after delay until the election comes around in five years,” Friday said.

“But if it was the last day before they announced election, we were still going to pursue this matter because we have to know what happened in 2015. We cannot go back into another election without knowing what happened in 2015 and we cannot go back into another election without correcting all the wrongs that were done in 2010 and also in 2015,” the NDP leader told persons at the rally and media audiences.

6 replies on “NDP was willing to pursue petitions up to next election”

  1. WHAT NONSENSE IS FRIDAY TALKING ………..WHO POSTPONED , APPEALED, AND ASKED FOR ADJOURNMENTS MORE SO THAN THE OPPOSITION
    MOREOVER IT WAS THE OPPOSITION INCOMPETENCE TO TO FILE THE CASE AND GET IT STARTED IN A TIMELY MATTER BEFORE THE GOV WAS SWORN IN .
    THE OPPOSITION COULD HAVE SIMPLY DONE AN EMERGENCY APPLICATION WITHIN FEW HOURS OR EVEN MINUTES OF THE CONCLUSION OF THE ELECTIONS ON THE BASES OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY TO PREVENT THE PM FROM BEING SWORN IN . THEN THE COURTS HAD NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO EXPEDITE AND RULE ON THIS MATTER WITH A FEW DAYS THERE AFTER .

  2. JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE POWER AND MEANS TO PURSUE SOMETHING DONT MEAN YOU SHOULD ………CASE AND POINT , IN THE USA THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CAN IMPEACH TRUMP BASED ON SOME INCOMPLETE INVESTIGATIONS AND SUB PAR EVIDENCE BUT THEY CHOOSE NOT TO FOR REASONS THAT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTEREST OR GOOD POLITICAL STRATEGY PLUS DISTRACT FROM MORE IMPORTANT AGENDAS , NOT TO MENTION THE TIME AND MONEY IT WOULD SPEND IN THE COURTS .
    THE LEADERS IN NDP SPEAK ONLY FOR TALKING POINTS TO REV UP THEIR BASE

  3. C. ben-David says:

    Although Friday opines that, “We always told you that we had confidence that once the matter goes to trial that the people of this country will believe that the complaints that were made by the New Democratic Party were just and right” this is legally irrelevant because it is for the Court to decide whether the complaints rose to a level that invalidated the elections in the two constituencies which they certainly did not.

    Friday knows this which is why he also implied that he would continue to pursue this issue regardless of what the courts have to say about it.

    What does this say about the NDP’s respect for the rule of law?

    1. What does it say about a judges respect for justice? It is obvious to me that the judge was on the ULP side from the beginning, but the discrepancies still came out. What will it say for the judges respect for justice when he decides other than what the evidence has shown?
      At least you will continue to have your party of choice remain in government.

  4. In this issue of their willingness to pursue their petition, as stated by Dr Friday, may one ask our Legal Beagle C. Ben-David, what is so wrong with that. If an individual seeks to pursue their legal Case through the given appellate system, how is that to be viewed as not respecting the rule of Law?

    How does such as statement or action by Dr Friday to be viewed as a lack of “respect for the rule of Law” as is implied by this self-appointed Legal beagle C. Ben-David whose training in Law may well be zero?

  5. IWN WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO SHOW BIAS BY NOT POSTING COMMENTS THAT HARSHLY CRITICIZES THE OPPOSITION .
    YOUR DELAY SYSTEM AIMS SPECIFICALLY AT THIS WITH YOUR INTENT …….

    (SIDE NOTE) . HIRE COMPETENT WEB BUILDERS TO CONSTRUCT AND MAINTAIN YOUR WEBSITE SO THAT IT WILL BE GLITCH FREE AND EASY TO NAVIGATE . YOUR SITE CONTINUE TO SCROLL ON ITS OWN .

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