The High Court on Wednesday adjourned a matter by United Worker Party (UWP) which is challenging the validity of the election of Eliud Williams as President of Dominica.
The UWP in its claim form filed in the Roseau High Court, dated October 26, 2012, by attorney J. Gildon Richards and claimant, Hector John, lists Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Speaker Alix Boyd-Knights and the Attorney General Levi Peter as the defendants.
“The nomination by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Mr. Eliud Williams for election to the office of the President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, without first consulting with the Leader of the opposition in observance of compliance with the provisions of section 19 sub sections (1) was unconstitutional, null, void and of no lawful effect,” one of the petitions filed in the court documents reads.
The State acknowleded that it is yet to file a defense and said it is represented in the matter by Anthony Astaphan SC. Astaphan was not in court on Wednesday when the matter came up for case management. However, Alick Lawrence SC, held papers for him.
Justice Brian Cottle, who swore in President Williams recently, represented the Chief Justice who was unable to make it to the court hearing. During the proceedings he asked the UWP lawyer if they wanted him to recuse (remove) him-self from the matter and ask for an ‘outside’ Judge to which The UWP lawyer, Gildon Richards, agreed.
It is now left to the Chief Justice to determine which Judge will be so assigned to deal with the matter.
The government side was also given time to file its affidavits and its defense.
No date has been fixed for the next hearing but the government side has stipulated dates according to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) to files its defense and various affidavits.
The UWP is also seeking a declaration from the courts on the actions of Boyd-Knights when she summoned the House on September 17, 2012 “knowing that there was no consultation or proper consultation by the Prime Minister with the Leader of the Opposition in compliance with the provisions of section 19 sub sections (1) of the Commonwealth of Dominica Constitution, violated the said subsection and the provisions of subsections (4) and (5) of the said section hereof.”