CHARLESTOWN, Nevis, CMC – The main opposition Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) has filed an injunction seeking to prevent Premier Joseph Parry and his deputy, Hensley Daniel from contesting the January 22 Nevis Island Administration (NIA) elections.
The CCM said that the injunctions were based on the court ruling in the recent election petition case that made both men ineligible to contest the polls.
“What we would have emphasised is a claim by two of our members, one against Honourable Joseph Parry, asking the court to give a determination whether he is eligible to contest the elections,” CCM leader Vance Amory said, adding “that is based on the decision of the High Court and the Appeal Court which was handed down on the 27th August and likewise, similarly for Mr. Hensely Daniel.
‘The matter is with the court and I think based on the decision of the Appeals Court and looking at the Constitution with respect to persons who could be determined have committed an offence with respect of an election, I think we felt we were justified in asking the court to make a determination on that”.
In a press release, the CCM argues that Premier Parry cannot contest an election for the next five years under the Constitution, while in the case of Daniels, it said the electoral officials who were reprimanded by the courts, promoted or secured his election (victory) through illegal or corrupt practices and his election was declared void.
“In such a case, Section 97 of the National Assembly Act makes it plain that he cannot contest an election to fill the seat created by the vacancy,” the CCM said.
But Daniel, a former deputy premier here, has dismissed the CCM claim, telling reporters that his detractors should bring proof of his wrong doing.
“All I would say is that the court is there for everybody...and I am still saying every court action begins with evidence,” he said, adding “I am not going to burn time or energy over that because the critical matter now is to be able to commit the voters to the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP).
“Those who have time and so on could go to the courts. I am going to the people’s court,” he said, describing the actions of the CCM as “divisive and polarising”.
“As of now we have an election to win of the 22 nd of January,” he said.
Premier Parry had agreed on calling fresh elections instead of holding a by-election in the St. John’s constituency after the High Court and the Court of Appeal last year ruled that the victory of Daniel was null and void last year.
The NRP held a one-seat majority over the CCM following the last NIA poll.
Daniel had won the seat by 14 votes defeating the CCM’s Deputy Leader Mark Brantley and giving the ruling party a slender 3-2 majority in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA).
Brantley had filed an election petition charging widespread irregularity and following a two-week trial in January last year, Justice Lionel Jones declared the election invalid.
The respondents, including Daniel, Premier Parry, the Supervisor of Elections, Leroy Benjamin and electoral officials Bernadette Lawrence and Kelvin Daley had argued during the trial that started in January that the results were free and fair based on existing regulations.
Benjamin has since resigned from the post and in its ruling the High Court said it was justified in finding bias against Lawrence on the basis of her deliberate proceeding to hold hearings in the absence of the objectees when it would have been obvious that some 113 of them would have received their notices less than five days before, or on or after, the date of the hearings.
“There was abundant evidence which established not only bias, but worse, bad faith and misfeasance on the part of Ms Lawrence,” the Appeal Court said.
On Monday, both the NRP and the CCM nominated five candidates each to contest the NIA. The NRP candidates included Premier Parry and Daniel.