Parties involved in a court matter challenging the nomination of Eluid Williams as President of Dominica will know by the end of this week whether it will be struck out by the High Court
The matter was brought up on Monday and Justice Lionel Jones reserved his judgement and ruled that his decision will be made known to all by the end of this week.
The opposition United Workers Party had taken the matter to court challenging the validity of the election of Williams as President of Dominica.
The UWP in its claim form filed in the Roseau High Court, dated October 26, 2012, by attorney J. Gildon Richards and claimant, Hector John, lists Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Speaker Alix Boyd-Knights and the Attorney General Levi Peter as the defendants.
“The nomination by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Mr. Eluid Williams for election to the office of the President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, without first consulting with the Leader of the opposition in observance of compliance with the provisions of section 19 sub sections (1) was unconstitutional, null, void and of no lawful effect,” one of the petitions filed in the court documents reads.
In court on Monday Senior Counsel Alick Lawrence, representing the government, argued that it is only the Court of Appeal, not the High Court, that has the jurisdiction to determine whether one is qualified to be President or not.
“In effect, section 22 (1) of the Laws of Dominica states that ‘the Court of Appeal shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question whether any person is qualified to be nominated for election, or elected, as President,’” Lawrence pointed out.
However, Richards insisted that the process leading to the installation of President Williams was illegal.
The case was first heard on November 28, 2012 before Justice Brian Cottle, who represented the Chief Justice who was unable to make it to the court hearing. During the proceedings he asked the UWP lawyer if they wanted him to recuse (remove) him-self from the matter and ask for an ‘outside’ Judge to which Richards agreed.