High Court to hear application seeking electoral reform, on Monday

A court matter, in which a group of Dominican citizens is seeking to have the upcoming general election deferred, is set to begin at the High Court in Roseau on Monday, December 2nd, 2019.

The president of the electoral reform pressure group, Concerned Citizens Movement,  Loftus Durand and other activists have filed an application seeking the deferment in order to have electoral reform implemented before elections can be held.

The respondents include the Electoral Commission, the President of Dominica and the Chief Elections Officer.

In the court documents which have been filed, the group is seeking an injunction restraining the defendants from holding general elections on the 6th of December 2019 or on any date prior to 5th February 2020, unless the procedure for holding elections in the House of Assembly Elections Act has been complied with and the voters list verified and the names of ineligible voters removed.
The group has also joined the Dominica Broadcasting Corporation (DBS) radio in the suit.
Meanwhile, the Chief justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme court Dame Janice Perreria has refused to request from lawyers for the pressure group to have a new judge hear the matter instead of the sitting civil judge Bernie Stephenson.
In its letter, the Chief Justice Perreria the lawyers  said “we believe that the appointment of a special non-resident judge to hear [the matter] is necessary because of  “its constitutional importance, the recent political climate in Dominica and a real risk of political reprisals against any resident judge who hears and determines this claim.”
The letter goes on to state, “If your Ladyship is not minded to accede to the request, we are asking that this application be assigned to a judge other than resident judge Bernie Stephenson.”
Several reasons were outlined in the letter for the request.
However, the Chief Justice responded through the registrar of the court saying that she sees no need to have a different judge and refused the request.
The matter is set to be heard for directions today, November 29, 2019, at 9 am and the trial is set for Monday, 2nd December 2019, at 9 am.
The former attorney general of Antigua, Justin Simon QC, is leading the group’s lawyers who also include Cara Shillingford, Singoalla Blomqvist-Williams and Elue John Charles.

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20 Comments

  1. Dominican living in Antigua
    November 30, 2019

    All of you full of …..talking about electoral reform. you all need to sit your as. down and think before you all talk, study the progress of your country, look for ways to develope Dominica. Lenox Linton want to come and ful his pocket of what Dominica do not have and he dont care a dam about the people of Dominica. Please leave Skerritt alone he dont need to run for election but just want to teach Linton a lesson. People Of Dominica ask yourself a question what better leader do you want to run Domincia than Rosveltte Skerritt.

  2. November 29, 2019

    And you call that “wisdom”?

    We will have it or else? The same king of threat all along?

    The question which is still nagging my mind is: Suppose the election would go as called–December 06, 2019–that is only 5 days away anyway–and Lennox and his gang get the win–but God forbids this–would Lennox just accept the victory and go on to mess up our Nation? Or would he still agree that the election wasn’t free and fair, so he won’t accept that victory? For that would be the only right thing to do, as far as his contention is concerned.

    What is the point of all this? I just don’t get it!

  3. Ibo France
    November 29, 2019

    I have very little confidence in our magistrate and high court systems but the CCJ has gained much of my respect with most of its decisions. Most of their judgments are in line with my thinking. Can’t say the same of the magistrate and high courts, definitely not. Dominica is a strange place under this severely corrupt, incumbent government. Justice and fairness are two virtues that are presently absent under an uncaring, self-serving, sticky fingers man. His hands are thoroughly daubed with Krasy glue.

  4. anonymous
    November 29, 2019

    Just my two cents, let us see if this injunction will work.

  5. RandyX
    November 29, 2019

    I don’t have to wait till Monday because the outcome of this case is already clear. With that judge there will never be a ruling against the cabal. What a sad story. No justice in the court, no fairness by the police.

  6. Braindamage
    November 29, 2019

    Well going through the court system is better than accusing protesters of pelting stones at the police, and hoping for the paid plane loads of illegals be stopped.

  7. En BA LA
    November 29, 2019

    The people who wrote the constitution did not see people traveling. It was written in a period of time when we were not traveling. See what the problem is today – WHAT IS GLOBALIZATION. Instead of trying to come up with a way for DOMINICANS to vote when they are abroad.

    UWP whatever this movement is you all are reverting BACK.

    You realize what is happening everyone who voted last elections will be able to vote this election NO MATTER WHAT YOU ALL DO.

    A RASH stalling strategy for an election is NO STRATEGY – FOR ALL ABOUT ICE AND US BASED STRATEGIES – FEDERAL JUDGES AND SUPREME COURT JUDGES ARE APPOINTED for life – YES FOR LIFE

    Take what suits you all and apply it

  8. Island peeps
    November 29, 2019

    But no court can stop an election or push back an election. I am trying to figure out what’s the purpose of this lawsuit. You guys are just bringing shame to the country you call home. Where in the world you guys see this nonsense taking place? This is so embarrassing on every level and such a black eye for our country. God knows why it did not give Dominica oil, diamond or gold. We would be at it other throats every second of the day. Dominica is in a shameful place and I don’t care if you DLP or UWP you are guilty of where it is right now.

    • What I hearing there?
      November 29, 2019

      You should be ashamed of youself! Your people are here fighting for their rights and you are worried about being embarrassed? You are not a patriot! SHAME ON YOU. SHAME. SHAME. SHAME ON YOU.

  9. Jonathan Y St Jean
    November 29, 2019

    Great move by those who filed the motion with the court to stay the election until certain practical things are done to make the election “fair”. Skerritt has had ample time to implement the basic things being requested but believes he’s a king or a dictator and refuses to do the right thing, instead of seeking to act in a way that will provide confrontation. The courts have disappointed the citizens of the sub-region and Dominica in the past especially in the matter of Skerritt holding a foreign passport. Now let’s see how the court responds to the facts presented. This decision will loom large in the sub-region as other leaders are marching to the same tune as Skerritt. For the sake of peace and preserving of democracy in Dominica, I hope the court rules to order the postponement of the vote. No election without electoral reform.

    • Observant Reader
      November 29, 2019

      Tony Astaphans lost an elections petition case in St. Kitts. He argued that it was legal for the Chief Elections Officer to remove the names of voters who were objected to. The Appeals Court dismissed Tony’s arguments and the Opposition won. There was much jubilation in Dominica by the Opposition. At last Tony Astaphans had lost a big case they chanted. This ruling in St. Kitts is also law in Dominica. Our highest court in matter of this nature not only rejected Tony’s arguments but set down the rules, the procedure by which a name could be removed from the voters register.

      In Dominica, the Opposition wants the voters list to be “cleansed” solely on the objection of the Opposition Leader. How is that? An objection was raised on or about November 19th 2019. By November 23rd, he was already complaining that the names that were objected to were still on the list even. Is he serious? What he wants? To delete the names just because he said so? No need for due diligence? Give me a…

  10. %
    November 29, 2019

    Those of us with a brain knows that the corrupt DLP opposes electoral reform, but there is more than enough time for reform and free and fair election..
    Let’s see what the court decides.
    I cannot believe that we will go cast a ballot without voter ID card and with the same bloated list in 2019!!
    Skerrit
    Whey is di money?
    Whey is di money?
    Whey is di money?

    • All politicians is d same
      November 29, 2019

      Lol if UWP was serious and organized! That electoral refrom would have happened already.

    • Realist
      November 29, 2019

      %, I maybe late but please inform me. Where is the UWP’s manifesto? Is it possible that you all are not prepared and are trying to buy time?

    • BE B
      November 30, 2019

      Why don’t you ask Lennox and Edison “where is de money”

  11. November 29, 2019

    What is the evidence that the list was not verified? The high court cannot rule that names can be removed from the list without due process. This is not a case of names been removed from the list which would be a more valid and sensible issue. This is an issue of the UWP trying to remove names from the voting list or to use universal language, VOTER SUPPRESSION.

  12. Kalinago Justice
    November 29, 2019

    This bogus fraudulent elections should be stopped, the one-man rogue regime prime mistake should not be allowed to contest elections!!!

  13. Dr Clayton Shillingford
    November 29, 2019

    Sounds very serious Let us see how the arguments from the complainants will be handled by the court because it has been clear for long time that the Skerrit regime is not interested in electoral reform to include cleansing voters list and ID cards..In this heated atmosphere will the Skerrit/DLP regime still attempt to use air fares and ferries???

  14. Wisdom
    November 29, 2019

    Judges. I know you are reading this. If you do not intervene, all hell will break loose in Dominica.
    Lennox Linton = Honesty
    Roosevelt Skerrit = Lies
    We want electoral reform now!

    • November 29, 2019

      And you call that “wisdom”?

      We will have it or else? The same king of threat all along?

      The question which is still nagging my mind is: Suppose the election would go as called–December 06, 2019–that is only 5 days away anyway–and Lennox and his gang get the win–but God forbids this–would Lennox just accept the victory and go on to mess up our Nation? Or would he still agree that the election wasn’t free and fair, so he won’t accept that victory? For that would be the only right thing to do, as far as his contention is concerned.

      What is the point of all this? I just don’t get it!

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