Opposition threatens legal action against nomination of DLP candidate in Grand Bay by-election

Electors line up to vote in the Grand Bay by-election now underway

Despite the United Workers Party (UWP) abstaining from the Grand Bay by-election which is currently underway, the leader of the party and Dominica’s Parliamentary Opposition, Lennox Linton, is threatening legal action to validate the legality of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) nominee, Dr. Vince Henderson.

This comes following a response by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Duncan Stowe to a November 12, letter which Linton wrote to him. 

In Linton’s letter, he claimed that Henderson appeared to be in breach of  the qualifying criteria for contesting an election for membership in the House of  Assembly since, as of nomination day, November 9, he had not been recalled nor had he resigned as Dominica’s Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), positions which he has held  since 2016.

Despites Linton’s request to the Chairman appealing to him to act with a level of urgency, in Stowe’s response which was sent on the eve of the by-election ( November 24), he informed the Opposition Leader that his letter was brought before a meeting of the Commission on November 15, 2021, where the matter “was discussed extensively, but it was not decided to accede to your request.”

The Chairman also responded to a letter by four “concerned citizens” who on November 22, 2021, appealed to him to use his authority to launch an investigation of all candidates in the Grand Bay by-election.

Dr. Irving Pascal, Judith Pestaina, Artherton Martin and Loftus Durand, in their joint letter to Stowe, said they are concerned about what appeared to be a violation of some of the laws and regulations as it pertains to the proper  registration of candidates for participation in the by-election.

Their plea for a response to their letter from the Chairman via email no later than 12.noon on November 23, in light of the established date of the election, went unheeded.

However on November 24, 24 hours past their given deadline, Stowe informed the “concerned citizens” that pursuant to the House of Assembly (Elections) Act, Chapter 2:01, Laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica, “all three candidates in the Grand Bay bye-election were validly nominated.”

The Electoral Commission Chairman further averred that under the ambit of the law, the Commision holds no legal authority that empowers them to investigate a candidate who has been validly nominated prior to a by-election.

“The law is quite clear, that where the process has already started, as is the case with the Grand Bay bye-election, any claim against the legitimacy of a candidate has to be brought to the Court by way of petition,” Stowe’s letter stataed.

Stowe concluded his response by informing the citizens that the Chief Elections Officer was not a witness to the declaration signed by Dr. Henderson, as a candidate for the Grand Bay bye-election.

Though he did not state such in his letter, Dominica News Online (DNO) has since been informed by reliable sources that a vote was recently held by the Electoral Commission with regard to the complaints filed against Dr. Henderson’s candidacy and two of the commissioners were in support of his removal while three voted against.

Clearly unsatisfied with the Chairman’s response and his denial of any legal obligation to investigate Dr Henderson’s nomination, Linton again wrote to Stowe today, November 25, stating, “where the Electoral Commission refuses to honor this obligation to act against  corrupt manipulation of the electoral process, the Commission reduces itself to a  farcical instrument of the “No Law; No Constitution” modus operandi of the Roosevelt Skerrit regime, unwilling and unable to conduct free and fair elections  with integrity in the Commonwealth of Dominica.”

He said the meeting held by the Commission on November 15, 2021 where “it was not decided to  accede” to the request to bar Dr Henderson from contesting the Grand Bay  by-election confirms a most unfortunate  “dereliction of duty and a squalid betrayal of the public trust.”

According to the Opposition Leader, The Electoral Commision appears to be acting on behalf of Dr Henderson and the Dominica Labour Party, by allowing the electoral process in the Grandbay bye-election to be  compromised by “blatant violations of the Constitution and the rule of law.”

“Accordingly, the Courts must be petitioned to declare the participation of Vince  Henderson in the Grandbay Bye-Election unlawful, invalid, null and void,” Linton declared.

Duncan Stowe’s letters to the Opposition Leader and to the group of concerned citizens and Linton’s latest response are posted below.

Download (PDF, 203KB)

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Download (PDF, 261KB)

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6 Comments

  1. Maybe
    November 26, 2021

    Investigate section #2, maybe a little illegality?
    FORM 13

    HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY (ELECTIONS) ACT (CH. 2:01)
    (Section 15)

    STATUTORY DECLARATION OF A PERSON NOMINATED AS A CANDIDATE FOR ELECTION AS A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

    Qualification of ___________________ of _____________________ in the _________________ of ___________________ nominated as a candidate for the election as a member of the House of Assembly for the ___________ constituency. I, ___________________ of _______________ in the _________________ of do solemnly and sincerely declare as follows: That I am duly qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Assembly for this constituency and that-

    1. I am a citizen of Dominica of the age of eighteen years* over the age of eighteen years.*

    2. I have resided in the State for a period of twelve months immediately before the date of my nomination for election.
    * I am domiciled in the State and was resident therein at the date of my nomination for…

  2. Check more
    November 26, 2021

    They should look into if the qualification of having lived in the state for the 12 months prior to declaration was met.
    They should check this qualification on the nominee declaration application.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  3. Len Pro
    November 26, 2021

    The Day care center graduate from marigot Lennox is once again threatening with one of his trademark (stupidity). Losser Lennox’s arrogance is his biggest enemy. And whoever is advising him to go down that path should be fired. Oh my, what am i saying? It is Lennox himself who should step down as the leader of the UWP. You cannot expect to be a successful politician on a Radio Station. Lennox, change your tactics. Get yourself involved in community service. (Dale Carnegie) has a master piece (How to win Friends and Influence People). Read it. You continue to make the same mistakes and not adjusting. Time is running out.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12
  4. D/can to d bone
    November 25, 2021

    You know already thiz is not going anywhere..gime de money instead to put my roof. Allu just wasting time and money for what you know will not work.. is skerrit the judge magistrate and de rest working for. So what you ecpect. Lol

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4
  5. Lin clown
    November 25, 2021

    That is what this AHOLES has to do.GO TO COURT.Linton can read,but cannot understand,always making an AHOLES of himself before the court.GO LINTON GO,make your self a JACKA.Linton is now a member of the MANICOU,AGOUTI gang promoting stupidity.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 21
    • Viewsexpressed
      November 27, 2021

      A Clown 🤡😂 will always remain a clown🤡 and pursue unreliable thoughts and lost to the real matters of good governance affecting our Government, Parliament, it’s members and the in people of Dominica.
      We Welcome & appreciate the interest of Hon. LENNOX LINTON as Political Leader and prolific Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. A great Feat on Our Behalf. We welcome our Disguished Leader of the Opposition and ones interest that has been and continues to be exceptionally Honoured and Committed to our Nature Isle Dominica. We desperately need this committed, experienced, Honourable LENNOX LINTON.
      We wish you all the Best 👍 and commitment towards the interests, Loyalty and RESPECT of Our Government and our Parliament in the interest of All of our People.
      Good Luck 🤞 Hon. LINTON on your Role as Member of our Parliament, as our Trusted, Distinguished Leader of the Opposition.
      We honour your commitment, interest of OUR Government, Peoples’ Parliament and our Country. BLESSINGS SIR

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