Since the elections in January this year, the two major political parties on St. Kitts, issued petitions, challenging the results in two critical constituencies. The first petition was instituted by Labour’s unsuccessful candidate, in Constituency Number Eight, Mr. Cedric Liburd, who wanted the court to invalidate the election of Mr. Eugene Hamilton, of the Peoples Action Movement, (PAM), on the grounds that the new Parliamentary Representative, (Hamilton), was a US citizen, with a US passport.
However, this matter was dismissed by the High Court, confirming Mr. Hamilton was duly elected and that there was no evidence that he held a US passport or was a citizen of the United States.
Now, the second case saw PAM’s Political Leader and candidate for Constituency Number Four, Mr. Lindsay Grant, on 15th February challenging the election of Labour’s Glenn Phillip, arguing that due to certain irregularities and election breaches, the court should declare Mr. Phillip’s election, null and void.
Shortly after Grant’s petition was lodged, Labour mounted its own legal action, asking the court to throw out Mr. Grant’s petition. After months of waiting, the decision of the Eastern Caribbean High Court was finally delivered on Thursday, granting the request of the Labour Party, thereby upholding the election to parliamentarian of Mr. Phillip.
The decision was made known by British Virgin Islands High Court Judge, Her Ladyship Indra Hariprashard-Charles, via teleconference.
Speaking to MiyVue.com after the court ruling, Mr. Phillip said he feels vindicated following the ruling by the High Court.
MiyVue.com was on the scene, and got the reaction of Phillip, when he exited the courtroom, showing signs of relief and joy.
“As a first time candidate who competed in the last General Election, I feel completely vindicated of what transpired here this morning,” Phillip told the gathering media.
Meanwhile, Phillip’s Lawyer, Dr. Henry Stugumber Browne said he was pleased with the court ruling.
“The allegations of bribery, cheating and illegal practices with which the opposition charged my client, each of those charges were comprehensively thrown out by the judge,” Browne explained, adding, “All along we said that there was nothing wrong with the electoral process on that day and now the allegation against the Minister (Phillip), Prime Minister (Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas); the allegation against prominent members of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, have all turned out to be false.”
On another note, the leader of the People’s Action Movement, PAM, Lindsay Grant told MiyVue.com that the decision was one of a technical nature.
According to Mr. Grant, the judge was of the view that she was bound by the recent decision coming out of Antigua just about one week ago.
“One must note also that she also said the time was overdue in terms of rules and regulations governing election petitions. So it is up to the government to ensure that these rules and regulations for the election petitions are introduced,” the opposition leader stated.
Grant further noted that he will be giving a more in-depth response on the matter at a further date.