Concerned citizen challenges legitimacy of some candidates’ nomination
A concerned citizen has written to the Attorney General informing that some candidates nominated to run in the 2020 general elections may be in contravention of Section 35(1)(a) of the Representation of the People Act.
Frank DaSilva, a resident of Queen’s Drive told SEARCHLIGHT that he hand delivered the letter expressing his concerns to Attorney General Jaundy Martin on October 20, Nomination Day.
The letter, dated October 18 reads in part: “On 20th October 2020 persons who will be contesting the 2020 general elections scheduled for 5th November, 2020 are required to nominate as candidates in accordance with the Representation of the People Act Chapter 9 of the 2009 Revised Laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“As part of the procedure for nomination every prospective candidate is required to execute Form 3 which is prescribed by Rule 6 of the House of Assembly Election Rules and which is captioned, ‘Statutory Declaration of a Person Nominated for Election as a Member of the House of Assembly’ (see Form 3 (Rule 6) of the House of Assembly Election Rules). One of the requirements on the form that should be satisfied is listed as item 4. That item requires a prospective candidate to state that he or she is “..not by virtue of my[his/her] own act, under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state”.”
DaSilva said two of the 33 candidates who were nominated on Tuesday were, in his opinion, in contravention of Section 35(1)(a) of the Representation of the People Act Chapter 9 of the 2009 Revised Laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“They have pledged allegiance to another state, namely Canada, and therefore, in so doing cannot satisfy the requirements of Section 35(1)(a) of the Representation of the People Act and Section 26(1)(a) of the Constitution of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” the political activist said.
“Should [they] … sign the Statutory Declaration aforementioned they will be in violation of both sections and will not be able to contest the general elections scheduled for 5th November, 2020 unless they renounce their citizenship with Canada. It is, however, noteworthy that [they] … have in the past violated those sections with impunity and must now be made to be subject to the full force of the law.
“As a concerned citizen I implore your good offices to deal with this issue as a matter of urgency in order to ensure that the laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines are observed and the electorates can be assured of a free and fair elections,” “ DaSilva said in his letter to the attorney general.
On Thursday, the political activist told SEARCHLIGHT that he has provided the supervisor of elections and the prime minister with copies of his letter.
Further, DaSilva said he intends to write the Director of Public Prosecution today, Friday October 23, seeking a fiat to bring private criminal charges against the two persons he alleges are in contravention of Section 35(1)(a) of the Representation of the People Act as well as three others who he alleges also made false declarations on their nomination forms.
“Anyone thinking I will relent, dead wrong. Apparently, they forgot the referendum and the attempt to increase the number of constituencies,” DaSilva said, referring to issues that he has successfully protested against in the past.
“In addition, I want to know what yardstick was used by the supervisor of elections to establish ‘residency’ and her interpretation of ‘domicile’, DaSilva said.