… Decide says EBC was fallacious to increase voting time

By Rickie Ramdass
Aug 19, 2016 – trinidadexpress.com

Voters show their stained fingers after voting within the September 7, 2015 normal election. Picture: Trevor Watson

THE election petitions filed by the United Nationwide Congress (UNC) which sought to declare the leads to 5 constituencies null and void following the final election day choice of the Elections and Boundaries Fee (EBC) to increase the one hour voting time, was dismissed.

The ruling got here in a 53-page judgment rendered by Decide Mira Dean-Armorer within the Port of Spain courtroom on Friday afternoon.

Justice Dean Armorer stated: “I’ve tried in these petitions to take care of the steadiness to guard the desire of the bulk whereas making certain that patent errors didn’t scale back the 2015 election to a easy sham. For the explanations acknowledged … I used to be of the opinion that the 2015 election in Trinidad and Tobago was largely in accordance with prescribed legislation and it doesn’t seem to me that the violations affected the outcomes. I’m subsequently of the opinion and I imagine that the petition must be rejected ”.

The choice will likely be appealed, stated UNC lawyer and political chief Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

In her ruling, Justice Dean Armorer stated there was nothing within the legislation that gave the EBC the ability to increase voting hours and that it had acted illegally.

She stated the choice of election officers to increase voting time past 6 p.m. was not lawful.

“The torrential rains and floods of September 7, 2015 might have prompted the EBC to problem the directive it formulated. Nonetheless, the uncontrollable climate situations didn’t give the EBC the ability to order that the legislation be damaged. The EBC, itself a creature of standing, should always conform to the clear imperatives of the legislation and should not faux to do with out these imperatives, even when it faces seemingly insurmountable issues. Consequently, I’m of the opinion and I think about that the extension of the ballot on September 7, 2015 was unlawful and the election officers who didn’t shut the ballot at 6 p.m. violated Article 27 (1) of the Election Guidelines ”.

Nevertheless, the choose stated that primarily based on the final conduct of the election, this was the one offense, and that primarily based on the variety of voters who voted between 6 p.m. and 7pm that meant that the end result of the outcomes wouldn’t have been completely different if the poll had been closed at 6pm.

The choose stated the violation was not dedicated maliciously however to accommodate the citizens attributable to “pressure majeure (dangerous climate) over which the EBC had no management.”
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