A court matter scheduled for this morning involving the leading opposition party United Workers Party (UWP)and the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) has been adjourned till next week.
According to information reaching Dominica News Online, certain officials related to the high court case were unable to be flown into the island due to a LIAT pilot strike yesterday. The matter was postponed till Monday or Tuesday next week.
The United Workers Party had filed several petitions against the DLP in January against what they claim to be gross irregularities in the conduct of the December 2009 general election polls.
The DLP was victorious over the opposition party gaining 18 out of the 21 seats. The UWP acquired the remaining three seats but recently lost two due to non-attendance at the nation’s parliament.
At the pinnacle of the UWP petitions list was the allegation that the prime minister illegally contested the elections by being a holder of dual French and Dominican citizenship at the time; an action which is contrary to Dominican law. The court is therefore being asked to set aside the prime minister’s victory in his constituency-Vieille Case due to this.
Other constituencies being contested are St Joseph, which involves John Abraham of the UWP, Kelver Darroux and others; the Roseau South seat involving UWP candidate Bobby Frederick, Ambrose George of the DLP and others.
The Salybia constituency, which was won by DLP candidate Ashton Graneau, is also being contested. Claudius Sanford contested for that seat for the UWP.
Parliamentary elections in the La Plaine constituency between the Leader of the UWP Ronald Green who lost by two votes against the present Minister of Education Petter St Jean is also being contested by the UWP.
At the last hearing, the judge had ordered the applicants (UWP) and respondent (the government) to prepare and submit affidavits, submissions and applications to the court ahead of the trial on June 17-18, 2010.
At the end of that hearing, DLP attorney Senior Counsel Tony Astaphan told reporters that his team was confident about the case and that the government was not taking the matter lightly.
“We’re taking these petitions very , very ,very seriously but at the same time we intend to confront them and attack them quite seriously as well. We’re not gonna just leave them to just lie and leave them to lie there with all these allegation in there….our purpose is to narrow the petitions down to either nothing or very little.. Whether it works out or not, I do not know…”Astaphan said.
Meanwhile, the UWP team is being led by Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes of Trinidad. Stuart Young of Trinidad represented the party at the last hearing. He told the media that his team was quite confident with the petitions