BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, March 31, 2021 (SKNIS): In a ruling today (March 31) in St. Kitts and Nevis High Court in relation to the convening of the so-called Emergency Sitting of Parliament on January 16, 2015, by the former Dr. Denzil Douglas-led Administration to debate boundary changes on the eve of the 2015 General Elections, High Court Judge the Hon. Mr. Justice Trevor M. Ward Q.C, said: “there is no obvious or apparent reason why the debate on the Commissioner’s report should qualify as an emergency.”
The Report of the Constituency Boundaries Commission in 2015 was dismissed by the Court as null, void, and of no effect.
“The facts outlined above in relation to the events of January 15.16 2015 give rise to a number of logical inferences. In the first place, the Government must have had knowledge that the report would be finalized that evening in order to have an emergency sitting of the National Assembly convened by the Speaker at such short notice,” the Judgment read. “If the former Attorney General is to be believed, not even he had advance knowledge of this sitting.”
It continued: “Moreover, given that the Commission only concluded its business at about 3:45 p.m., it is a marvel that within twenty minutes, opposition members were being served with notice of the sitting or learning about the planned sitting from various sources and that within 45 minutes, the necessary paperwork to facilitate a sitting of the National Assembly had been done.”
“As the court sees it, these facts give rise to the inference that there was a prior plan to rush the draft proclamation through the National Assembly the moment it came to hand…Accordingly, I accept the Claimants’ submission that the facts relayed above give rise to the irresistible inference that there was a deliberate plan by the executive branch of government, in the control of the then governing party, to rush the Report through the Assembly, dissolve Parliament and have the proclamation published before the Opposition was able to approach the Court to challenge the lawfulness of the Commission’s decision.”
To read the full court ruling, please click on the link below:
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