The New Democratic Party and our legal team are still in the fight for free and fair elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Our petitioners filed a motion to inspect the ballot boxes from the December 2015 General Elections. The respondents have now recruited three (3) new foreign lawyers. Subsequently, these lawyers were called to the bar of SVG yesterday to appear on behalf of their clients (respondents). Further to this, the new lawyers for the respondents made an application for an adjournment since they were new to the case and needed time to respond to our motion and affidavits. Our lawyers did not object; we agreed to the adjournment on the CONDITION that the matter would be heard within this law term (before August 1st). However, Justice Henry indicated that due to a judicial conference and other prior commitments, this would be problematic.
As it stands now, directions were given by Justice Henry for the filing of affidavits and submissions. Then the Court Registrar will fix a date for the next hearing in September.
 
Does the Supervisor of Elections (SOE) Mrs. Sylvia Findlay still have access to the ballots?
 
Yes, she does. Under the Representation of the People Act, she is the custodian of the ballots. That is proper.
None of the evidence in support of the petitioners has yet been examined by the court. This is due to the initial battle to strike out the petitions which lasted a year and six months. Our motion to inspect the ballot boxes is now the first step in the petitions case which will now go to trial. The motion asks for the ballots to be removed from the SOE’s custody and to allow them to be inspected.
It is worth noting that the RPA clearly outlines that the SOE alone is to keep the ballots securely, permitting no access to anyone unless the court, upon our motion, orders otherwise. Even the SOE is not permitted under the law to open the boxes. She is merely to lock them away and ensure they remain inaccessible.
 
Can the ruling of a judge affect electoral matters?
 
It is important that we are all aware that judges can rule on electoral matters and can change the functionaries of government. And we are not asking the court to elect the government but that the law was followed and that the true wishes of the people are upheld.
When the people refuse you, and you steal your way to power, then the court makes determinations on the acts of theft.
The NDP and our legal team are committed to this battle. We ask you for your prayers and financial support to assist with legal costs. We ask you to be vigilant and to continue to speak out in defense of democracy in our nation. We must unite for free and fair elections and to uphold the rule of law. Justice will prevail.

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