KINGSTOWN –– The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has filed election petitions in connection with the December 9 general election.
Party leader Arnhim Eustace who made the announcement on Monday, also used his weekly radio programme to encourage party supporters amidst what he said was a “gloomy” period for the 40-year-old institution that had been in opposition for almost 15 years, after 17 years in government.
He noted that the party had not lost any election petitions, stating that they were filed on December 30, two days after a High Court denied NDP candidate for Central Leeward, Ben Exeter, access to certain election documents.
“They [petitions] weren’t even filed when the court ruled against this other matter.
“The real election petitions –– the meat of the matter, the fraud and the theft, the way ballots were dealt with –– all these things are being dealt with by the petitions. Not the case that we had a couple weeks ago,” he told listeners.
The NDP claims that it won the December 9 general election, which electoral officials say was won by the Unity Labour Party (ULP), led by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.
Election officials say the ULP secured a fourth term in office by winning 8 of the 15 parliamentary, while the remaining 7 went to the NDP, a carbon copy of the December 2010 elections results.
Eustace said the outcome of the petitions could see the ULP administration falling.
“The petitions, if we win those petitions, can lead to a by-election. It can even lead to a general election, if we win those petitions,” he said, adding that NDP had a few more days to file some affidavits in support of the petitions.
“And over time, we will be giving you information to the extent that it is possible, of what is happening with those election petitions,” Eustace told listeners.
“What we lost a few weeks ago had to do with the right to remove all the ballots from the Supervisor of Elections office to the court — the Registrar of the High Court,” Eustace noted.
“And that matter, of course, will come up again in the petitions,” he said, adding that the election petitions are not affected by the December 28 court ruling.