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Posted: Friday 28 October, 2011 at 9:49 AM

CCM supporters claim victory over latest Judge’s ruling

By: Lorna Callender, SKNVibes

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – CCM supporters are claiming victory over the recent ruling by Madame Justice Indra Hariprashad Charles who spoke to the lawyers representing the Electoral officials, the Electoral Commission and the two political parties  via teleconferencing on Tuesday October 25.


    Her Lordship ruled on two of the three applications submitted by the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) and delayed the third for a ruling on the morning of November 21 when the Election Petition would be heard.


    To the satisfaction of the CCM, the judge ordered the Supervisor of Elections, Leroy Benjamin, to deliver within seven days the official voters list used at the polling stations in St. John’s on polling day – as was requested by CCM in their application on October 12.


    Another request of CCM - asking that they be allowed to respond to some portions of the evidence filed by the NRP was granted. Mr. Brantley, on whose behalf the petition is filed, has been given permission to respond to the claims filed by the other Party and has until November 1st to do so.  


    “Tuesday 25th October marked a great leap forward in our battle to restore decency and good governance to our beloved Nevis,” states the Press Secretary of the CCM in his release on the ruling.


    “This sets the stage for a great outcome!” said one CCM supporter.


    “Freedom is almost here,” remarked another.


    The outcome of the Election Petition now rests with the Judge and the ability of the lawyers to argue their cases... and there are many lawyers on both sides.


    On Tuesday 25th although the Respondents did not appear, their lawyers did. Lawyer Oral Martin appeared for Hon. Joseph Parry. Hon Hensley Daniel was represented by Dr. Henry Browne. Mr. Sylvester Anthony appeared on behalf of Bernadette Lawrence and Leroy Benjamin, as well as for Kelvin Daley. The members of the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General were represented by Dennis Merchant.


    In the keenly contested election on July 11, CCM’s Mark Brantley lost the seat by fourteen votes to Hensley Daniel. The elected members of CCM boycotted the opening of the Nevis Island Assembly and told reporters that the party was not conceding the July 11 Nevis election that was the reason for the boycott.


    CCM is asking the court to declare the elections void based on a number of irregularities, including the CCM's lack of access to state-owned media and the removal of over two hundred previously registered voters from the voters list. The CCM claims that these actions affected the outcome of the poll and constitutes a breach of the law and the constitution.


    Meanwhile although CCM has boycotted the Nevis Island Assembly declaring it illegal, the elected member for St. James of the Concerned Citizens Movement in the Nevis Island Assembly the Hon. Alexis Jeffers, took the oath of allegiance Monday.


    However, after taking the oath, Jeffers immediately left the meeting and took no part in the debate. Later he told reporters outside, 'We are required to take the oath under the rules of the house.  We are not going to accept NRP (Nevis Reformation Party) as a legal Government in this country because of the things that would have happened prior to the election."


    Nevisians wait with bated breath on the outcome of the proceedings on November 21 when the election petition will be heard.


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