Appeal Court dismisses election petition; results stay the same

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 12:30

The Court of Appeal has dismissed the United National Congress (UNC) election petitions.

Chief Justice Ivor Archie, sitting with Appellate Judges Allan Mendonca and Peter Jamadar, gave the decision just after 3 pm.

The court completed hearing submissions in the case shortly after 1 pm today following which the judges stood down for two hours.

Explaining the reason for the speedy outcome in the case, Archie said that the Constitution requires that election petitions be dealt with expeditiously.

In its appeal the UNC challenged the decision of High Court Judge Mira Dean-Armorer to dismiss their petitions in August.

While Dean-Armorer agreed with the UNC that the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) acted illegally when it decided to extend last year general election in Trinidad by one hour due to heavy rainfall, she said the election result would have remained the same if all the votes cast during the election were to be subtracted from the votes obtained by the successful candidates.

In its appeal, the UNC sought the court to overturn Dean-Armorer's decision and order by-elections in the five marginal constituencies being challenged- Tunapuna, St Joseph, Toco/Sangre Grande, San Fernando East and Moruga/Tableland.

The EBC also filed a cross-appeal in which it asked the court to rule that it did in fact have the power to adjust the hours of the poll in emergency circumstances.

SOURCE: (Derek Achong)