Opposition Senator, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste speaks at the rally of the New Democratic Party in Layou on Saturday. (iWN photo)

An opposition lawyer says that the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has spent EC$5 million to pay six or seven lawyers to defend the state in the election petitions case.

Senator Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, who is a lawyer for the petitioners, noted at a New Democratic Party rally in Layou on Saturday that the government has already admitted to spending EC$650,000.

In response to a question by opposition lawmaker St. Clair Leacock, in February, Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves told Parliament that the   government has paid lawyers EC$649,500 to defend the petitions.

But Bacchus-Baptiste told a New Democratic Party rally in Layou that the money spent is now significantly more.

“I understand that this trial cost US$1 million just for Wizard of Oz,” she said, referring to the main lawyer for the government in the case, Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes.

The trial began on Feb. 11 and is expected to end on March 21, when the verdict is handed down.

“Hear this. That does not include the airfare for all of them to come in, the hotel accommodation, the food, the transportation. So, after stealing the election, you have to pay them to come in,” she said.

The New Democratic Party has filed the petitions challenging the outcome of the vote in Central Leeward and North Windward in the 2015 general election.

Bacchus-Baptiste said her party is claiming that over 700 ballots should not have been counted in Central Leeward.

She said 300 of these ballots had absolutely no official mark and the law says they are void.

The lawyer said that a further 300-plus should not have been counted because their secrecy was breached.

She said that in North Windward, the NDP brought a witness who said because of the presiding officer’s handling of the ballots, he saw how 60 persons voted in one polling station.

The witness said that the presiding officer peeked at the ballot to see who people voted for and was very welcoming to ULP supporters and was singing the ULP campaign song “Show me you voting finger”, Bacchus-Baptiste said.

15 replies on “Senator claims gov’t spent $5m on petitions case”

  1. KAY I EXPECT BETTER OF YOU ……….SO TELL ME , AS A LAWYER IF SOMEONE BRINGS A LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU , WHAT WILL YOU ADVISE YOUR CLIENT TO DO MS BAPTISTE. TELL THE PPL …..
    ALSO TELL THE PPL HOW MUCH NDP LAWYERS GETTING PAID ,

    FOR THE RECORD BEFORE ANYONE BARK UP MY TREE …..I DONT SUPPORT ANY PARTY . I AM 100 PERCENT BIPARTISAN AND FOR THE BETTERMENT OF SVG .
    POLITICIANS ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED AND MOST ONLY CARE ABOUT ENRICHING THEMSELVES . YOU MAY FIND A FEW HARD WORKING HONEST ONES BUT ITS HARD TO “LAY WITH DOGS AND NOT CATCH FLEAS “

  2. All of this cheating on the vote will be ignored because the laws in SVG are allowed to be snubbed by select individuals. There will even be individuals commenting on this site, possibly this article that will tell readers that no harm was done in spite of all the “discrepancies” that were proven to have taken place during this election.
    What will really be shocking is that any such decision gives a GREEN LIGHT to all future mischief in our elections. Any fool can see that such a decision will have game-changing circumstances that spell the end of the democratic process in SVG. Election officers can cheat or be trained to cheat and make it look like acceptable sloppiness or stupidity. The outcome of this case may give all of this a stamp of approval, and no opposition will ever dare to go to the expense of contesting election cheating because this case (depending on the decision) will approve all suspicious conduct.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Your comment reminds me of the aphorism “It takes one crook to another.”

      Why do we always have to employ lazy analysis in calling simple human error based on poor training and incompetence “wickedness,” of which cheating is an example.

      1. You are surely impotent try viagra so that you can masturbate if that doesn’t help hang yourself. You evil incarnate bogus scholar. If you weren’t married you probably wouldn’t get any wife. No decent woman would want you. You impotent scum. Bitter senior citizen.

  3. C. ben-David says:

    Too bad it will be the NDP that will have to pay these costs when damages are assessed after it is declared that their petitions are denied on March 21.

  4. I thought the NDP had issued a statement cautioning its members and supporters about not publicly making comments on the petitions case while they are still before the courts. Then again, its Kay Bacchus, anything is possible. By the way, NDP really going to the polls next election with these dinosaurs.

  5. Annis Oatelia Creese says:

    Isn’t this statement by Lawyer K. Bacchus – Baptiste an oxymoron? As a lawyer, she would have been defending the government if she were on the other side. She would have had to be paid. If the government brought lawyers from abroad, does not that display neutrality? Wont they need hotel, food, transportation etc to accommodate them? Bacchus-Baptiste’s argument is on the money paid, but isn’t that what she is about – getting paid for her attorney fee? Shouldn’t the govt get the best defense for its case? Is all well with her, though? From lawyer to parliamentarian to minister of religion. How does this mixture work?

  6. What was the NDP expecting? The ULP formed government and they brought a case against the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines and the Electrial Office. In under no circumstances would any government not fight to keep their legacy in tack even more so since they control the coffers. This is typical of the need of people in power to stay in power and the people who want power to do what it takes to get it. We know where the ULP Government is getting its money from in this instance, but the major questions remain: who is founding the NDP on this one? What’s their pound of flesh?
    This whole election petition business provided another opportunity to show that the level of rot in our system of government has reached the brim and is beginning to overflow just like the cases the Union brought against the Public Service Commission. We have built a society where cover-ups are the order of the day. In our quest to protect the image of our family, friends and comrades, we have been trading in the grey areas of ethics and integrity. All these cases go to show that the moral fabric of our society is torn somewhere down the middle. So the big questions are: What are we going to do about it? Are we going to continue to play the blame game and allow politics to split us or are we going to band together as a people and fix what’s broken before it becomes irreparable?

  7. This is so sad this goverment need to go.people are starving in the country and all they are doing is putting money in astafan and mendes pocket watch a time for poor people

  8. Vincentians they are going to hype up this election you see they start building roads and fixing up.things eat them out and vote them out

  9. The country will run better if he have them in the opposition they would stay on NDP back to make sure things go rite lets vote them out and when NDP fail we vote them out aswell

  10. I know you all those forget fast i know some cement and a few sheets of ply wood galvernize sun set rum cement does make all yuh forget the years ofbturture from this government.but please dont forget all the tax they are putting on us nobody paying attention to minimum wage in the country stand up people represent vincies time for change

  11. Urlan Alexander says:

    So sad. No one seem to be concerned about what happened at the polls in 2015. The election workers all admitted to wrong doings yet they’re all defended by persons who should know better.

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