The Roosevelt Skerrit-led administration won its appeal today in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), in the case brought by Dominica’s leader of the opposition Hector John, which sought to challenge the election of Eluid Williams as President of Dominica on the grounds that both his nomination and election were “unconstitutional, null, void and of no lawful effect”.
The claim was first filed in 2012 by John against Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Attorney-General Levi Peter and Speaker of the House of Assembly Alix Boyd Knights. When their attorneys applied for the matter to be struck out, the High Court judge dismissed that application and ordered that the matter should be tried. Then in November of last year, the justices of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal reserved judgement in the case.
Today, however, the ECSC decided that the government had won its case. Chief Justice Janice M Pereira said in her ruling that “It is no part of the court’s function or responsibility to meddle in parliamentary affairs particularly when the Constitution clearly precludes it from so doing.”
She further stated that the office of president is one which should be held in the highest regard and subjected to the highest form of integrity. “To allow the court to meddle into the affairs of the election process of the president is in my view an affront to the dignity of the high office of president…”
Meanwhile, Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan told Kairi FM radio that in today’s judgment the government feel vindicated by the decision. “Every time that the UWP makes a political camp on legal issues they have lost, even in relation to the elections…” he said. According to Astaphan, “These constant losses give us a picture of greatest dishonesty on what the real issues affecting the country are.”
Former president Eluid Williams was elected as president in September 2012 and served a one-year term.
Below is a copy of the full judgement.