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UPDATE: Election Delay Petitioners Want Justice Bernie Stephenson Recused

by: - November 29, 2019
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Justice Bernie Stephenson.

Applicants petitioning to delay next week’s General Elections met with Justice Bernie Stephenson on Friday morning.

The sitting took place in chambers where Judge Stephenson was asked to recuse herself.

This means that the applicant believes that the judge is unqualified to perform legal duties because of a potential conflict of interest or partiality.

The court will resume at 2pm today over the recusal request.

Attorney Lennox Lawrence representing the respondents says he is not surprised.

“We appeared before the judge and the applicants are asking the judge to recuse herself. It doesn’t appear that these people want this matter heard. We only have two judges in the jurisdiction and their first application is that this judge not hear this matter; that this matter goes before another judge. Our position is that  entire matter before the court is clearly a non-starter,” he detailed.

Cara Shillingford spoke on behalf of the applicants.

She said, “It’s an application before the court to apply for leave for judicial review of the decision of the President not to adjourn polling day in light of numerous errors and irregularities which have pointed out in our application.

“It’s also an application for an order that the Electoral Commission and the Chief Elections Officer sanitise the Register of Electors before the next general elections so that we can have free and fair elections in Dominica.”

Shillingford did not comment on the basis for the recusal request.

The applicants are Loftus Durand, Atherton Martin, Dr Irvin Pascal, , Nicholas George, Dale Laurent, Oswald George and Atherley Robin.

The respondents are  President Charles Savarin, Electoral Commission, Chief Elections Officer, Ian Anthony, Cabinet, Dominica Broadcasting Corporation and the Attorney General.

Meanwhile, the court met at two o’clock and application for judge to recuse herself was refused by the court.

The court will meet again to discuss the substantive matter of delaying general elections