The day of Judgement has come in the political arena, and if you follow the Bible, “ ye who is guilty or innocent will remain the same”.
Justice Esco Henry will deliver judgement in two matters which came before the court between 2nd – 5th May 2017.
At the heart of the matter, the Opposition party contends that two of their candidates were disadvantaged in two constituencies that could have swung the elections in their favour. The two are Central Leeward and North WindWard.
From the decision to be delivered today, Vincentians will know whether a submission by the government to dismiss the opposition New Democratic Party’s election petitions as improperly filed or, a counter presentation for the NDP that the motion to strike is an abuse of the process, succeeded or failed.
The Opposition claims that the 2015 elections should be made null and void since according to the party, there were massive irregularities including, voter fraud, tampered ballots and an Elections’s office working on behalf of the government and not independently.
In a May 13th, 2016 report, the OAS noted efforts by the Electoral Department to significantly improve, purge and update the voter’s list, provided a more accurate reflection of voter participation.
The report further stated that while the conduct of the election was without any major incident, the Mission identified some areas where the election process could have been improved.
The report noted and referred to the final count of votes witnessed in one constituency—Central Leeward—where they identified some challenges.
Report; “some disquieting issues at this particular constituency mainly referred to the incorrect application of seals, the absence of the Presiding Officer’s stamp and initials on some ballots and the possible partiality of the returning officer who conducted this recount”.
Notwithstanding these concerns, OAS Observers did not discern any fraudulent or other activities at the final count “which could have materially affected the outcome of the vote.”
Both Government and Opposition say they are confident in the outcome.