Chairman of the Canefield Urban Council (CUC) Simeon Albert has said that the council’s elections, scheduled for Monday in which Canefield residents will elect a new council chairman, will go on as planned despite rumours that an injunction would prevent it from happening.
Reports are that Michael Coipel, who had been disqualified as a candidate for the elections, had filed the injunction.
“Mr. Micheal Coipel stated on the radio yesterday that if his name doesn’t appear on the list there will be no election. As far as I noted that was just Mr. Michael Coipel saying his thing. But as far as I know from the electoral office there has been no injunction on the election and that the election goes on as scheduled for the 20th of September,” Albert said.
“So that is just talk as far as I see it. I do not believe that the chief elections officer would disqualify anyone from being eligible to serve on the council if the person had met the criteria or the pre-qualification as recommended by the law,” he stated.
Albert explained to Dominica News Online that according to the council laws, anyone contesting the elections would have to be registered on the voters list in the community by nomination day, which was August 31.
Coipel, he said, had not followed that requirement hence the reason for his disqualification.
“What we have had is nomination of candidates for the election and ten names were nominated but nine were accepted. One was disqualified. Michael Coipel was disqualified as being a candidate for the election of the council..”, Albert said.
“Nomination day was on August 31. One of the conditions in terms of being qualified for the election is your name must appear on the voters list in the area at the time of the election and that is one of the pre-qualification. So Mr. Coipel being registered in Massacre requested a transfer to Canefield but since that has not taken effect then he cannot be qualified for the election because he does not appear on the voters list in the Canefield area,” he stated.
Albert assured that he had no interference in the candidate’s selection process.
“I’m not the one who decide whether he run or doesn’t run or qualify or not qualify. Simeon Albert had nothing to do with Mr. Michael Coipel not being on the list other than Mr. Michael Coipel himself,” Albert insisted.
“I have no influence in determining who is nominated or not. Like any other candidate I had to bring my two people to nominate me and my name must appear on the voters list. I must be a resident in the area for six months prior to my nomination. I have all these conditions applying to me also,” he added.
Meanwhile despite continuous efforts, DNO has not been able to reach Coipel for a comment on the matter. However he stated on the Matt in the Morning talk show on Q95 on Wednesday, that after transferring his name from the voters list in Massacre to Canefield on June 8, he was told by election officers that he had qualified to contest the elections though he would not be able to vote.
“And I was told by the employees there, [your name is not on the list because the transfer take a little time]. So I say wow, but I’m a candidate in this election how is it going to affect me? And I was told by the electoral office that you can contest [you can contest the election, you can get elected but you will not be able to vote for yourself nor any other candidate on the basis that your name is not on the list,” he told Mat Peltier on his talk show.
“So on nomination day I got two people to nominate me. When I reach here, I was told again that [you can contest the election, you can be nominated but you will not be able to vote] and so therefore I went through nomination. One day after nomination I’m being told that I cannot contest the elections,” Coipel stated.
“If Michael Coipel cannot contest this election there will not be an election!” Coipel stated.
Efforts are still ongoing to reach the electoral office for comment on the matter.