Disenfranchise

Hundreds of Vincentians have been disenfranchise of their vote at the December 09, 2015 General Elections and this is a critical and fundamental problem for the very foundations of democracy and for the future of this country. The unlawful practices of illegal ballots and other irregularities may even be more widespread than what was discovered in Central Leeward and North Windward.

Click to view the video or if you prefer the pdf is here

Court Petitions

Fifteen separate elections were held in SVG on 9th December 2015, during the course of the overall General Elections.

  • One of those elections was in the constituency of Central Leeward (CL), where Benjamin Exeter ran against Louis Straker.
  • Another was in the constituency of North Windward (NW), where Lauron Baptiste ran against Montgomery Daniel.

After the elections, Exeter and Baptiste filed petitions with the Court, challenging the elections in CL and NW. The petitions contend that the elections held in these constituencies were not in accordance with the law which governs the conduct of elections. The petition concludes that in light of the evidence, “the Central Leeward election of December 9th 2015 was a travesty and a sham”

Read the Petitions

Petitioners Affidavits

NDP Candidate Ben Exeter of Central Leeward filed a petition in court against the following respondents: Winston Gaymes (Returning Officer), Kathleen Jeffers (Presiding Officer), Louis Straker (ULP Candidate), Sylvia Findlay-Scrubb (Supervisor of Elections) and The Attorney General of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Read Ben Exeter’s Affidavit

Respondents Affidavits

The respondents swore affidavits that were submitted to the court. At some point following the submission of those sworn affidavit, the Supervisor of Elections, Ms. Sylvia Findlay-Scrubb submitted a letter to her lawyer stating that she made an error in her original sworn affidavit.

A Faulty Judgement

Benjamin Exeter filed an application with the High Court which sought to have the Supervisor of Elections deliver to the custody of the Registrar of the High Court all ballot boxes containing ballots, and counterfoils from the Central Leeward constituency, and to allow the Applicant to inspect same.  The judge ruled against the applicant stating that The court is also concerned about the application to inspect the counterfoils as well as the ballots. If this is allowed, it will be possible for the applicant to identify individual voters and see how they voted.”

Click to view the video in plain english or if you prefer the pdf is here

OAS Electoral Observation Final Report

The OAS Mission in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was comprised of 13 observers from 11 countries. They observed electoral processes in 14 of the 15 country’s constituencies, visiting 74 percent of the polling stations. A group of OAS Observers attended the final count in Central Leeward and, constituting a neutral third party, had this to say in their final report dated 13th May 2016:

“The OAS observers noted the following issues during the Final Count at this particular constituency.

“a. Incorrect application of seals: On several ballot boxes, while tie-locks had been placed in the required locations around the perimeter of the box and through the flap covering the slot, the seal was not placed across the slot itself. In some cases the seal was placed on the flat part of the box cover, in a fashion similar to a sticker. In one case (CL-D) the seal was not on the box at all, but was wrapped around one of the locks. The NDP agents noted that in these cases they could not be certain that tampering had not taken place, and requested that the Returning Officer note their concerns.

“b. Absence of Presiding Officer stamp and initials on some ballots: In two ballot boxes, which were both incorrectly sealed, a number of ballots had neither the stamp nor initial of the Presiding Officer. As this applied to the ballots for both the ULP and the NDP, and as the relevant ballots had been cut in such a way (on the slant) so that a small portion of the ballot had been removed along with the counterfoil, it appeared that the Presiding Officer had simply removed the counterfoil in such a way that his/her stamp and initial remained on the counterfoil itself. The NDP agents requested permission to view the counterfoils to confirm that the stamp and initials were present. This request was refused by the Returning Officer. Repeated appeals and objections by the NDP agents were ignored by the Returning Officer

“c. Partiality of the Returning Officer: The bias of the Returning Officer towards the ULP candidate and agents was clear. During the period witnessed by the OAS Observers, the RO routinely ignored attempts by the NDP agents to gain his attention, responded to their concerns or objections in a dismissive or exasperated fashion, or complained that they were wasting his time. On the other hand, concerns voiced by ULP agents were immediately addressed and in one particular instance converted by the Returning Officer into a new instruction for the counting process. It was notable that the instruction was revoked only after a lead ULP agent agreed that it should be.”

Download the full report.

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