EBC calls for dismissal of Arima Northeast election petition

Home*Cover Story*News

EBC calls for dismissal of Arima Northeast election petition

Chief Elections Officer Fern Narcis-Scope has filed a motion to dismiss an election petition in reference to the Arima Northeast district.

The EBC asked for the matter to be thrown out on Monday, because it was not served on the eventual winner of the seat, Kim Garcia.

The motion said the petitioner, Jairzinho Domingo Gustav Rigsby, who was the UNC’s candidate in the August 14 local government election, did not serve Garcia with notice of the petition nor was she named as a respondent as required by section 110 of the act and rule 8(1) of the election rules.

The EBC contends that the petition, filed on September 1, should have been served on Garcia on or before September 7, within five days of the presentation of the challenge.

They said, “Having regard to the nature of the petition and the relief which it seeks which concerns not only the petitioner and the respondents but the electorate of the electoral district of Arima Northeast, it is in the public interest and consistent with the overriding objective for the respondents’ motion to dismiss the petition.

On Tuesday, Justice Frank Seepersad ordered the filing of submissions on the EBC’s motion and said he would give his decision on September 18.

“This point will revolve around the interpretation of the act and the rules,” he said.

However, Rigbsy’s attorney, Dinesh Rambally, insisted that non-service of the petition on Garcia did not nullify it.

He expressed concern that the EBC did not, on September 5 when the matter was first called, raise the issue.

He said it was not Garcia’s conduct which was being complained of but that of the chief election officer and the returning officer who are the named defendants in the petition.

The Arima Northeast election petition is the second challenge to the results brought by the Opposition UNC; the other being the Lengua/Indian Walk district.