AN opposition bid to stop the government from implementing the report of the Boundaries Commission which is recommending increasing the number of electoral constituencies by four, began yesterday in the High Court, with a decision that the matter should be heard.
The case opened before Justice Francis Belle but was soon adjourned to a date yet to be decided upon.
To the concerned parties yesterday was just an introductory phase where nothing substantive was discussed although some aspects of the matter were highlighted.
Spearheading the fight for the opposition is the Castries South East parliamentary representative, Guy Joseph who is taking to task the five members of the Boundaries Commission, Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony and Attorney General, Kim St. Rose, acting in her capacity as the legal representative of the Governor General.
Joseph filed an action in the court seeking to prevent the Governor General from acting on the report. Although he claimed in his application that he was acting in his personal capacity as a resident of Castries South East, he has the United Workers Party fully behind him.
The party, at an executive meeting held earlier this week voted unanimously to support Joseph in his bid to seek a review of the process adopted by the Boundaries Commission.
UWP leader Allen Chastanet had given Joseph his support long before the other members of the executive did. Chastanet had voiced concerns about the unfairness of the process which led the Commission to arrive at its decision to realign certain boundaries to increase the number of constituencies from 17 to 21.
Joseph was pleased that the application he filed before the court will go through to be heard.
“Whilst I am in this matter representing my constituents, I believe that this will augur well for the entire country and that we will finally get the opportunity to implement the correct procedure so that true democracy and fairness can prevail,” he said in a press statement yesterday.
It is not yet known when the case will resume. A date has to be agreed upon by the attorneys representing the parties in the case. Appearing on behalf of Joseph was Garth Patterson, Q.C from Barbados and for the defendants Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan from Dominica.
I think this is a waste of time. I hope when this case is thrown out the government seeks compensation from mr Joseph. You and your party participated in the process by appointing two people on the committee which was done in accordance with the Constitution. Once the committee is appointed they can decide to invite and accept proposals from whoever they want. What is important is them accepting and adopting the recommendation. Once all the members sign it becomes the report of the commission. Further, you all sat in Parliament when this was put to a vote and not one of you voted no. Yes we can debate the cost of an additional four constituencies but I see no legal basis for this action. You talk about fairness as relates to the realignment, how will you argue that in court. Because a particular area voted one way in the last election or previous ones the same will happen next time? If that be the case we wouldn’t have a 16-1. In any event if you guys are so confident that you are better equipped to run the country and that the current government is failing the people, what does it matter how many seats they create or how they realign.
No local lawyers?? Talk about supporting local….
High stakes political assizes demand Caribbean Foxes who have GPS on the marrow rich Catacombs of the Antilles……
Local boys have local households to tender…….
Therefore, the risks of venturing into the deep blue to Stuka dive with grinning Hammerheads, Tigers, and Great Whites……..
just aint worth the casualty odds !