The opposition party in Nevis has won a major court victory after the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court ruled that election of Hensley Daniel – Deputy Premier of the Nevis Island Administration – is null and void.
The matter was taken to court in an election petition by Mark Brantley – Deputy Leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) following the July 2011 Local Elections in Nevis – during which the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) won three seats against the CCM winning two.
The election petition launched by Brantley claimed that his opponent had won by the illegal removal of 203 names from the Voters’ List in the St. John’s Constituency.
He also claimed that his constitutional right to freedom of expression was breached when he was denied access to the Nevis Newscast for coverage of his party’s events.
At the Nevis Circuit Court, Justice Lionel Jones agreed with Brantley and ruled that his right to freedom of expression was breached and the election of Daniel was null and void.
This means that with immediate effect, Daniel, who is also the Deputy Leader of the incumbent NRP, would have to vacate his seat and all Cabinet positions held by him since the election.
The matter began unfolding last year when Brantley took the case to court and the judge agreed with his argument that due to certain irregularities over 200 people were not allowed to vote making it favorable for Daniel to win in the St. John’s Constituency. The judge declared the results void.
However this was appealed by Daniel.
The appeal was heard in March and the final result was given on Monday.
Senior Counsel, Anthony Astaphan, was one of many attorneys representing the Nevis Island Administration in the matter.