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Election left more questions than answers – Exeter

Election left more questions than answers – Exeter

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The results of the recent general elections have left supporters and candidates of the New Democratic Party (NDP) with more questions than answers.

This is the view of the NDP’s candidate for Central Leeward, Benjamin Exeter, who spoke to SEARCHLIGHT in Kingstown yesterday, while part of a group of protesters who had taken to the streets to protest the result of last week’s poll.{{more}}

“…We want to make sure it was a fair election. Democracy is not served; there are some unanswered questions, and we need questions answered. I can only speak for Central Leeward. In Central Leeward there a lot of issues…”

Exeter said the main complaints in his constituency were the validity of ballots and the election day procedure.

“…For Central Leeward there are a lot of issues: unsealed ballots, unsigned ballots, ballot papers with the wrong marking on them, with no official markings on them; ballot paper that didn’t bear the stamp of the presiding officer or the officials, but yet they were cast as valid and they should be rejected ballots. There are hundreds of those; there is a whole host of things and on Form 16 in the … statement from the presiding officer, it showed that polling station had a 100 per cent turnout…,” the NDP candidate stated.

He pointed out that the presiding officer had recorded 100 per cent voting turnout, which, according to Exeter, would point to there being more people voting than on the actual list.

Exeter, however, said that all the NDP wants is to see that there was a free and fair election.

“We want to see that everything is fair; we want to see that the Government does the right thing.”

Additionally, the firsttime candidate stated that he is standing by his supporters, who felt as though they were cheated at the polls.

“…This is about the people and the people coming together. They want justice and justice, meaning a fair and impartial election, that is what they are saying. It has nothing to do with the party. I am only here to support the people of Central Leeward; they put me in the position to represent them and they feel that they were cheated and I am here to support them,” Exeter stated passionately.

In general elections held in St Vincent and the Grenadines last Wednesday, the Unity Labour Party (ULP) won eight of the 15 seats, while the NDP won the other seven. The New Democratic Party has, however, contested the validity of the result in the Central Leeward seat.

A release from the supervisor of elections yesterday said the final count in Central Leeward ended at about 5:30 p.m. on December 10. “Reports from the returning officer indicated that while it was a tedious exercise, both parties in the end accepted the final result. Sir Louis Straker gained 2,497 votes and Mr Benjamin Exeter 2,184 votes,” the release said.(CM)