Election voting suit on today
THE CIVIL SUIT brought by three non-nationals suing for the right to vote in Barbados’ next elections, comes up today in the High Court.
The chamber matter will be heard by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson in the No. 1 Supreme Court at midday.
Guyanese Shireene Ann Mathlin-Tulloch; attorney Sharon Juliet Edgecombe-Miller, who holds British citizenship as a result of being born in Montserrat, and Jamaican Michelle Melissa Russell, also an attorney, have filed a suit against the Chief Electoral Officer and the Attorney General challenging a decision by the Chief Electoral Officer not to register them as electors in the next general elections.
Mathlin-Tulloch, who is represented by attorneys Bryan Weekes and Wilfred Abrahams and is Grenadian by descent, has been living and working in Barbados since 2001. Edgecombe-Miller has worked and lived in Barbados for 17 years, and Melissa Russell has been here working for 14 years. Edgecombe-Miller and Russell are being represented by attorney Gregory Nicholls.
The three are contending that as Commonwealth citizens, having legally resided in Barbados for more than ten years in each case, they were entitled to be registered as electors, pursuant to Section 7 of the Representation of People Act.
The three women have claimed that the decision of the Chief Electoral Officer not to register them was an administrative omission which was contrary to law; a failure to satisfy procedures required by law; an abuse of power, and was executed on instructions from an unauthorised entity.
They want the High Court to declare that having satisfied the conditions set out under the act, they were entitled to be registered as voters.
They are also asking the High Court to quash the decision of the Chief Electoral Officer to refuse to register them; an order mandating that they be registered, and an injunction restraining the Chief Electoral Officer or her agents from refusing to register people as electors otherwise than on the grounds and in accordance with Section 8 of the Representation of People Act. (HLE)