Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 4th 2015 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Lawyers representing the UNC
have been told to produce evidence
to prove their claim that its loss in
the September 7 general election
was caused by the Elections and
Boundaries Commission (EBC) s
decision to extend the polls by an
hour due to heavy rainfall.
Chief Justice Ivor Archie repeatedly
made the request from the political
party s lawyer Timothy Straker, QC,
yesterday, as he and two of his col-
leagues began hearing submissions
on why they should not overturn a
High Court judge s decision to grant
initial approval of the election peti-
tions over the extension.
While he admitted that Archie s
inquiry was central to the claim,
Straker said the court should not
solely be focused on the number of
people who benefited by the exten-
sion, but also its impact on his client,
which claims that it was not able to
effectively mobilise its agents as it
was informed late by the EBC.
"We are looking for stability of
"That includes a huge number of
factors including confidence in the
electoral regime," Straker said.
Straker suggested that the court,
in determining the petitions, could
undertake a statistical analysis of the
impact of the extension.
However, he noted that the court
should not attempt to "peer inside
the voting booth."
Archie did not seem convinced as
he said: "One cannot point to every
single consequence and say give me
When you come for leave you have
to say what was affected."
Stating that the party had to con-
vince the court that the result of the
election was materially affected by
the extension in order to convince it
to void the election, Archie reiterated
his view that the UNC should have
possibly been required to provide
additional proof before the petitions
were approved by Justice Mira Dean-
Armorer in mid-September.
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"There must be some partic-
ulars to explain what you are
really complaining of other than
the breach of rules," Archie said.
His discourse with Straker
appeared to intensify as Straker
attempted to make his submis-
sions on his client s allegation
that the People s National Move-
ment (PNM) requested the
extension from the EBC.
Straker: We have an unfortu-
nate situation where a party did
approach the commission and a
response was made.
Archie: Isn t it enough to know
the EBC has done something that
appears to be against the rules.
Why is it necessary to colour
it with something said in a news-
Can you please move on to
your next point.
Straker s subsequent attempts
to rephrase his accusation were
all denied by Archie, leading him
to say: "I am anxious to have the
The UNC filed the election
petitions for six constituencies---
Toco/Sangre Grande, Tunapuna,
St Joseph, Moruga/Tableland and
San Fernando West within a
week of its loss in the general
In its petitions, which will be
heard in the High Court provided
the appeal is dismissed, the party
is claiming that the EBC acted
illegally when it took the decision
to extend the polls.
It is also alleging that it was
informed late of the extension
and after the PNM was.
The EBC, which presented its
submissions yesterday, is denying
any wrongdoing and is contend-
ing that it acted within its remit.
The PNM, which has been
joined as an interested party, will
continue its submissions at the
Hall of Justice this morning.
The UNC is also being repre-
sented by Gerald Ramdeen and
Kent Samla, while the EBC is
being represented by Senior
Counsel Russell Martineau and
The PNM s legal team includes
Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes
and John Jeremie and attorneys
Michael Quamina, Kerwyn Gar-
cia and Celeste Jules.
Chief Justice Ivor Archie
UNC election petition
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