Justice Cottle Rules That The Application To Strike Out NDP’s Petitions Premature

The application to have two election petitions filed by the New Democratic Party (NDP), thrown out has been unsuccessful.

The ruling was handed down yesterday by High Court Judge justice Brian Cottle.

The application was brought by the Supervisor of Elections and others, who were Respondents in a law suit brought by the NDP, following the December 9th General Elections. The NDP filed the petitions, to seek redress for what it claimed were irregularities in the electoral process in the Central Leeward and North Windward Constituencies.

The Respondents were seeking to have the petitions thrown out, because they were improperly filed.

In his Judgement, Justice Cottle ruled that the application to strike out the petitions was premature. He said the Court had no jurisdiction to entertain it by means of an interlocutory application in Chambers.

Justice Cottle stated that, having had the benefit of full arguments, he was of the view that such an application, if made at the beginning of the hearing of the petition, is bound to succeed.

He said this indication may be of some assistance to the parties involved in deciding the way forward and saving costs, time and national uncertainty.

Meanwhile, the Lawyers for the Respondents in the “Election Petition Cases have indicated that they respect the Judge’s ruling.

This assurance came in a statement which followed the ruling, from Solicitors Anthony Astaphan SC; Richard Williams and Grahame Bollers.

The Lawyers said they were pleased that Justice Cottle had ruled that if the same application was made at the beginning of the hearing of the elections petitions themselves, the petitions would be struck out.

The statement said the ruling vindicates the position of the Respondents.

It said the Respondents reserve their respectful opinion on the Judge’s ruling of the pre-maturity of the instant application