PM Skerrit et al Loses Petition in 2014 Election Treating Matter

by: - May 28, 2020
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Dominica Vibes has learned that a decision has come down from the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in an election treating matter brought against the Roosevelt Skerrit-led Dominica Labour Party, following the 2014 General Election.

Mervin John Baptiste, Antoine Defoe, and Edincot St. Valle filed complaints against all 15 elected candidates of the Dominica Labour Party claiming they were involved in treating leading up to the election; which the DLP won 15-6 against the United Workers Party.

The complainants cited two concerts put on by the DLP, featuring international acts, Donnie McClurkin and Morgan Heritage, as acts of treating meant to corruptly influence the outcome of the election.

The DLP, through its lawyer Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan, filed for judicial review alleging that the magistrate had no jurisdiction to issue the said summons and the matter was one of an election petition.

High Court Judge, Bernie Stephenson ruled in favor of the DLP candidates stating that the magistrate who signed the summons erred in law.

The appellants through their lawyer, Cara Shillingford, appealed that matter which was heard in October 2019 and the decision reserved.

Shillingford argued before the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court that the individuals are charged with an election offense and so cannot fall under an election petition.

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court heard an appeal and issued their judgement moments ago upholding the request for judicial review.

Senior Counsel Astaphan reacts: