High Court Judge Calls for Re-Instatement of Some Voters But Denies Wider Application

 

It was the contention of the opposition Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM, that over 250 properly registered voters were illegally removed from the Voters List, in an attempt to influence the results of the poll.

The CCM took legal action, using five voters, who swore affidavits confirming that indeed they were removed from the list, even though they made no such requests and even though they only learnt of the measure, after the date had passed for them to attend a hearing to defend their registration.

However, what the CCM failed to do, thinking it would have been cumbersome and unnecessary, was to include affidavits for all 250 voters whose names were removed.

This poor judgment perhaps worked against the power of their case.

As a result, judge Mario Michel, who was specially assigned by the Chief Justice of the OECS, to hear the matter, ruled that the names of the five persons, who filed their affidavits must be immediately re-instated on the Voters List and be allowed to cast their ballots in next Monday’s elections.

For weeks, callers to various radio programs had urged the CCM to take urgent legal action and to ensure that every person whose name it was confirmed, was removed from the list, was given all the necessary legal support and that every judicial option be explored. Some political observers believe that the CCM took too long to respond and erred by not filing affidavits for all, instead of only five voters.

According to the CCM, they felt that the submission of just five affidavits would have been sufficient for the judge to establish a pattern that the issue was more widespread, and that he would have requested more evidence, which at that time, CCM would have been prepared to submit. This however, some believe, was a serious mis-calculation. Others share the view that had CCM submitted all 250 affidavits, their chances of having the names re-instated would have been favourable.

Meantime, the elections for next Monday will proceed as schedule.

 

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