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Posted: Friday 5 November, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Grant loses election petition; Minister Phillip vindicated

(From left) Sylvester Anthony, Andraunauth Gossai, Dr. Henry Browne and Hon. Glenn Phillip. (Photo by Erasmus Williams)
By: Stanford Conway,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - Her Ladyship Indra Hariprashad-Charles yesterday (Nov. 4) struck out the petition filed by leader of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) Lindsay Grant, who challenged the January 25, 2010 election of St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Parliamentarian Hon. Glen ‘Ghost’ Phillip.


    Grant alleged that Phillip’s election to office was determined by corruption, bribery and treating. However, in delivering her ruling via teleconference, her Ladyship found that he could not provide material facts or evidence to prove his case.


    Speaking with SKNVibes, Phillip said Grant was defeated in the January 2010 General Elections and he has now suffered another one in the court.


    “I never doubted the process and I was just allowing it to take its course. As you are aware, Lindsay Grant has been defeated at the polls and now he has been defeated at the court. I hope that this is a definitive measure for the whole process.”


    In response to the question of his future plans for members of his constituency, in particular, and the country as a whole, Phillip said, “My way forward is to do exactly what the people of Constituency Number Four brought me here to do and working for the country. As you are well aware, Cabinet has recently signed for the construction of an indoor facility for basketball. We are also dealing with the laptop programme as well as the transformation of our Sports Department.”


    He also mentioned an after school programme, noting that there is a lot on his plate but his aim is to continue working on behalf of the people.


    The respondents of the petition, Phillip and Supervisor of Elections Leroy Benjamin, were represented by Dr. Henry Stugumber Browne and Sylvester Anthony, respectively.


    Anthony said the judgment was a total and complete vindication of the electoral process that resulted in the election victory of Minister Phillip and a humiliating defeat for Grant.


    “The judgment, in fact, is a complete vindication. Every single allegation in the petition was dismissed…every single point. We said from the beginning that there was nothing in the petition and the judge has now agreed with us that there was nothing in the petition,” Anthony said.


    In his comments, Dr. Browne also stated that Phillip was vindicated and noted that the case was “comprehensively blown out by the learned trial judge”.


    “The candidate, now minister, has been completely vindicated. And all along we said that there was nothing wrong with the electoral process on that day. And now the minister, the allegation against the Prime Minister, the allegation against prominent members of the Labour Party have all turned out to be false,” Dr. Browne said.


    Browne said he was happy with the judgment now that Minister Phillip has absolutely no cloud hanging over the integrity of the electoral process under which he was truly elected.


    Speaking on Winn FM’s Voices programme yesterday, Grant gave his views on the case and implied that Phillip was not vindicated.


    “What was decided was merely technical arguments as to whether or not, for example, what rules and regulations were we coming to court on. There were no rules and the court said something about that. So, it’s rather technical. And to say it’s a vindication, that’s not quite correct. What it is really, is that the court at the end of the day looking at my petition and coming down on one side or the other in terms of the technical nature of what was pleaded, whether or not it fell within certain walls that the court felt that is the way it should be,” Grant said.


    On Monday, January 25, 2010, St. Kitts and Nevis held its General Elections with newcomer Glen ‘Ghost’ Phillip as the Labour Party’s candidate for Constituency Four. On the following day, it was announced that he had gained 1 185 votes as against Grant’s 1 156, making him the Parliamentary Representative of that constituency. There were reportedly 13 rejected ballots.


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