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Electoral and Boundaries appeal case today

BARRY ALLEYNE, [email protected]

Electoral and Boundaries appeal case today

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LAWYERS FROM BOTH SIDES are expected to present arguments to the Court of Appeal on Thursday for determining whether a number of Commonwealth citizens should be granted the right to be registered to vote in the upcoming general election.

The Solicitor General’s Office last month appealed an earlier ruling by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, which determined Commonwealth citizens should be allowed to register, based on the regulations within the Representation Of The People Act.

Defence attorneys Wilfred Abrahams and Gregory Nicholls have also submitted written arguments on the case.


Class-action suit

The plaintiffs in the substantive matter are Shireen Mathlin-Tulloch of Grenada, Michelle Russell of Jamaica and Sharon Edgcome Miller of Montserrat, who were part of a class-action suit challenging the Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (EBC) decision not to allow them to register and join the voters’ list.

In a brief interview with the DAILY NATION on Wednesday, Abrahams said their argument would be that Sir Marston was right in his decision, which determined that Commonwealth citizens living and working in Barbados for three years should be allowed to be registered with the EBC.

Erred in law

Government, however, is claiming that the Chief Justice erred in law.

The appeal has cast doubt on the ability of almost 6 000 unregistered voters who were hoping to place their X in the next poll.

The Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Attorney General and Chief Electoral Officer claimed the decision was unlawful and cited seven grounds for appeal. They said Sir Marston erred in law by holding that the applicants possessed standing to pursue administrative remedies and that the decision of the Chief Electoral Officer and the Electoral and Boundaries Commission constituted an “administrative act”. (BA)