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Application to inspect ballot boxes to be heard next week

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An application by the New Democratic Party (NDP) to inspect the ballot boxes from the Central Leeward constituency in the 2015 general elections will be heard in the High Court next week.

President of the NDP Dr Godwin Friday, in an interview on Monday on Boom 106.9 FM said the matter will be heard on October 24 and 25.

This is the second time an application by the NDP to inspect the ballot boxes from the Central Leeward constituency in the 2015 general elections will be heard by the court.

On December 28, 2015, the High Court dismissed the first application filed by NDP candidate Benjamin Exeter, which asked, among other things, to have the ballot boxes placed in the custody of the Registrar of the High Court, for the ballot boxes to be opened by the Registrar in the presence of Exeter and also for Exeter to be allowed to inspect the ballots. The application also asked that the sealed packets containing counterfoils be opened by the Registrar in the presence of Exeter and he be permitted to inspect the counterfoils.

The application by the NDP to inspect the ballots forms part of the two petitions they have filed challenging the results in Central Leeward and North Windward in the December 2015 general elections, after the Unity Labour Party (ULP) won the elections by taking eight of the 15 parliamentary seats.

In 2016, Justice Brian Cottle threw out the petitions, ruling that they were improperly filed. However a ruling of the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court restarted the entire court process, after an appeal by the NDP that there was apparent bias on the part of Justice Cottle was upheld.

It was after this Appeal Court ruling that the NDP reinstated their application and Justice Esco Henry ruled on June 30, 2017 that the election petitions filed by two candidates of the NDP should proceed to trial.

The petitioners in the matter are candidates for the NDP Lauron Baptiste and Benjamin Exeter, while the respondents

are supervisor of elections

Sylvia Findlay; successful

ULP candidates Montgomery Daniel and Sir Louis Straker; returning officers Vil Davis and Winston Gaymes; and presiding

officers Veronica John and Kathleen Jeffers.

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