The St. Lucia based Court of Appeals had schedule the hearing of the boundaries injunction appeal filed on behalf of opposition parliamentarians, after Justice Marlene Carter discharged an injunction against the use of the new boundaries passed in National Assembly during a controversial emergency sitting of the parliament on 16th January.
Late Thursday (29th January), the Court of Appeal issued a new injunction on the use of the new boundaries until the matter is heard on the 9th February.
But Nominations Day has been set for 6th February, and Prime Minister Douglas said he was concerned that the 9th February date for the hearing of the appeal case would cause problems. The re-imposition of an injunction spurred an unexpected sitting of Cabinet Friday (30th January) to discuss the recent development.
At about 4:30 p.m., the prime minister spoke on a radio and television broadcast indicating the decision taken in Cabinet.
“We have written to the Appeal Court seeking its indulgence in ensuring that the date of the hearing is moved forward, so as to avoid the administrative complications that would ensue were the court hearing take place on the 9th February, after Nomination Day,” Douglas explained.
Prime Minister Douglas disclosed that he had meetings today with the governor-general, the chairman of the Electoral Commission and the supervisor of elections to officially advise them that, “in response to the opposition’s decision to appeal the January 27, 2015 High Court ruling, the appeal court has asked that the new and only existing boundaries not be used until the hearing of the Appeal Court has been completed”. He told the nation that the matter was one of grave concern.
Meanwhile, taking a swipe at his political opponents, Douglas opined that they were employing delaying strategies to gain time, because they we not prepared for the elections.
“My government and party, we are ready for elections. The country is ready for elections. The people are ready for elections. The opposition, however, is clearly not ready, and so, they are determined to employ any and all tactics that would enable them to delay the elections, and in fact, to buy time,” the prime minister stated on a national broadcast.
He expressed the view that the opposition’s “delaying tactics” would not work.