Categorized | News, Regional

Opposition petition challenging election results to be heard on Friday

PORT OF SPAIN, CMC – The petitions from the main opposition United National Congress ( UNC), challenging the results of the September 7 general election, will be heard next Friday.

Attorneys representing the UNC, People’s National Movement (PNM) and the Election and Boundaries Commission (EBC) were on Friday notified of the date of the hearing, which is expected to go for a case management conference to determine a timeline for the case.

The notification comes days after the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from the PNM and the EBC challenging the decision to grant the party preliminary leave to pursue their petitions seeking by-elections in six marginal constituencies.

The UNC, the majority partner in the People’s Partnership government, lost the election by a 23-18 margin to the PNM.

In a 2-1 split decision, the three-member Appeal Court disagreed with the appeal filed by the EBC and the six members of the PNM that High Court judge, Justice Mira Dean-Armorer, was wrong to give leave to the opposition party to challenge the results in six of the 41 constituencies.

Former attorney general Anand Ramlogan described the judgment as “illuminating, powerful and very incisive.

“It is not very often there is a dissenting judgment from the Honourable Chief Justice, but it augurs well for the strengthen, independence and fairness of our judicial system that we can have such a strong court and we can have a judgment in a matter like this with robust intellectual discourse emanating from the lips of all three independent judges”.

Ramlogan said the UNC was prepared to “respect the judgment of the court whichever way it went and that was indicated even before today.

“The rule of law, democracy and the constitution have triumphed today. We took a lot of licks   from our colleagues from the opposite side, the media, the political leader of the United National Congress, Kamla Persad Bissessar, herself took quite a beating for pursuing these election petitions,” he added.

UNC Deputy Leader Dr. Roodal Moonilal, who is challenging Persad Bissessar for the leadership of the party, said the ruling “is an important moment for us because it means that some substantive issues or law can be aired in a full trial of the court and I look forward to that full trial.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley says his ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) will continue to administer the affairs of Trinidad and Tobago as he downplayed the significance of this week’s Court of Appeal ruling in favour of the main opposition United National Congress (UNC).

Rowley, who returned here on Thursday following officials trips to Malta and the United Kingdom, told reporters that the Appeal Court simply agreed to have the matter heard and that the PNM was very clear on the matter.

“We won the election, we are the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and we will discharge our responsibility until such time that something else happens.

“We don’t expect to be anything but the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Let them (UNC) go play in the court. They are free to play in the court. We have confidence in the court processes in Trinidad and Tobago,” Rowley said.

He said that now that the court has said it will hear the matter, “and that is all that has happened so far, we now will rely on the leading of evidence and the court will then rule as to whether there is evidence to support her optimism.”

The UNC, the majority partner in the People’s Partnership government, lost the election by a 23-18 margin to the PNM.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

PORT OF SPAIN, CMC – The petitions from the main opposition United National Congress ( UNC), challenging the results of the September 7 general election, will be heard next Friday.

Attorneys representing the UNC, People’s National Movement (PNM) and the Election and Boundaries Commission (EBC) were on Friday notified of the date of the hearing, which is expected to go for a case management conference to determine a timeline for the case.

The notification comes days after the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from the PNM and the EBC challenging the decision to grant the party preliminary leave to pursue their petitions seeking by-elections in six marginal constituencies.

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The UNC, the majority partner in the People’s Partnership government, lost the election by a 23-18 margin to the PNM.

In a 2-1 split decision, the three-member Appeal Court disagreed with the appeal filed by the EBC and the six members of the PNM that High Court judge, Justice Mira Dean-Armorer, was wrong to give leave to the opposition party to challenge the results in six of the 41 constituencies.

Former attorney general Anand Ramlogan described the judgment as “illuminating, powerful and very incisive.

“It is not very often there is a dissenting judgment from the Honourable Chief Justice, but it augurs well for the strengthen, independence and fairness of our judicial system that we can have such a strong court and we can have a judgment in a matter like this with robust intellectual discourse emanating from the lips of all three independent judges”.

Ramlogan said the UNC was prepared to “respect the judgment of the court whichever way it went and that was indicated even before today.

“The rule of law, democracy and the constitution have triumphed today. We took a lot of licks   from our colleagues from the opposite side, the media, the political leader of the United National Congress, Kamla Persad Bissessar, herself took quite a beating for pursuing these election petitions,” he added.

UNC Deputy Leader Dr. Roodal Moonilal, who is challenging Persad Bissessar for the leadership of the party, said the ruling “is an important moment for us because it means that some substantive issues or law can be aired in a full trial of the court and I look forward to that full trial.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley says his ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) will continue to administer the affairs of Trinidad and Tobago as he downplayed the significance of this week’s Court of Appeal ruling in favour of the main opposition United National Congress (UNC).

Rowley, who returned here on Thursday following officials trips to Malta and the United Kingdom, told reporters that the Appeal Court simply agreed to have the matter heard and that the PNM was very clear on the matter.

“We won the election, we are the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and we will discharge our responsibility until such time that something else happens.

“We don’t expect to be anything but the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Let them (UNC) go play in the court. They are free to play in the court. We have confidence in the court processes in Trinidad and Tobago,” Rowley said.

He said that now that the court has said it will hear the matter, “and that is all that has happened so far, we now will rely on the leading of evidence and the court will then rule as to whether there is evidence to support her optimism.”

The UNC, the majority partner in the People’s Partnership government, lost the election by a 23-18 margin to the PNM.