Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Opposition files injunction


KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, CMC – Lawyers for the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) have filed an injunction preventing the three member Elections and Boundaries Commission from publishing a notice relating to the extension of the electoral constituencies in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

But Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, in a brief statement, said his government would proceed with plans to extend the electoral constituencies from 15 to 17 on the basis of the mandate given by Parliament earlier this year.
He said by a majority vote in Parliament on March 4, the constituencies in the multi island state were increased by two and a three member Elections and Boundaries Commission was appointed to investigate parameters for the extension and to make recommendations.

Gonsalves said that the members of the commission met regularly and have completed their work but the Opposition has filed a an injunction in the court  “to arrest the publication”.
Prime Minister Gonsalves said the court has assented to the injunction and will deal with the matter on Tuesday.

But speaking on the NDP sponsored call in radio programme, NEW Times, Opposition Leader, Arnhim Eustace, said the report of the Elections and Boundaries Commission was signed by two of the three members while the opposition’s representative on the Commission refused to sign it and submitted a minority report.
Eustace said he is pleased that the court has agreed to grant the injunction, adding that the NDC took the position it did because it did not want a recurrence where two years ago, the government prepared a gazetted publication over the weekend to retroactively legislate the introduction of an unpopular fee for persons using the Grenadines Wharf.

General elections are constitutionally due in St. Vincent and the Grenadines by March 2011 and political observers say the additional seats could decide the outcome of the polls.