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Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams

The Tobago Council of the ruling Peoples National Movement says it has come as no surprise that what it described as an attempt to derail the December 6 Tobago House of Assembly election, has failed. 

On Tuesday, Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams ruled that Tobago East resident June Jack McKenzie had no arguable case and had failed to prove that the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) report, which led to the creation of three additional seats in the THA election, had stretched outside the remit of the EBC. 

In a press release issued on Wednesday hours after the Judge’s ruling, the Tobago Council of the PNM said the objective of certain parties is to undermine democracy in Tobago. 

It said in bringing the action on the behalf of certain agents, McKenzie was attempting to stymie the democratic rights of the people of Tobago, through the force of law. 

However, the PNM Tobago Council said the judge acknowledged that this principle alone, meant that McKenzie and her agents’ attempt had to fail. Interestingly, the release said, the judge also noted that after the election, McKenzie can challenge the validity of the winning candidate in the 15th district of Goodwood/Belle Garden West. 

The PNM Tobago Council questioned whether McKenzie will do so if the district is taken by a PDP candidate. 

The release noted that the decision taken by the People’s National Movement administration to avoid a deadlock came after deep consideration, and with a view to the continued embracing of democratic practice in all of Tobago’s affairs. It noted that it is quite revealing that certain political parties would have preferred this not to occur. 

Political Leader of the Tobago Council of the PNM, Tracy Davidson-Celestine, said: “The parties on the other side will continue to fight democracy under the guise of the courts, to legitimize their attempts at derailing our democratic process. But we have faith in the EBC and the parliament, both following very transparent processes for the whole world to see.”