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NDP will ‘seek to prosecute’ illegal voters

NDP will ‘seek to  prosecute’ illegal voters

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The New Democratic Party (NDP) is insisting that whether or not it wins the December 9 general election, it will be seeking to prosecute any persons who vote illegally.

At the official launching of the hard copy of the NDP’s manifesto last Wednesday, candidate for East St George Dr Linton Lewis warned that the party will be going through the list of persons who voted.

“Under the NDP administration, we will seek to prosecute.{{more}} Even if we don’t win, we will seek to prosecute!” declared Lewis.

He explained that giving false information to the registering officer is an offence, and that if individuals do so and turn up to vote can be challenged.

“When you are challenged, the presiding officer has a responsibility to direct the police to arrest the person. If that person requests a ballot and was permitted to vote, that person would also have committed another offence, because that person voted unlawfully. Therefore, we are urging all persons who are not properly and lawfully registered, not to turn out to vote…”

Lewis also accused the Prime Minister of encouraging persons to vote illegally when he (the Prime Minister) spoke at the signing of the code of conduct for the general elections on Tuesday.

“The Prime Minister did not say that people ought not to be transferred illegally; he didn’t say so, you know… What he said to them is that we [NDP] cannot prosecute. So, he is encouraging people to go and register and transfer illegally!” Lewis declared.

At Tuesday’s signing ceremony, in response to Lewis’s claims that the NDP would prosecute individuals who vote illegally, Gonsalves said that the Leader of the Opposition has no authority to prosecute anyone, but if he has a complaint, he can lodge the complaint with the relevant authority, which may or may not prosecute, depending upon the facts he presents in relation to the complaint and those facts are investigated.

“The purpose of that is to intimidate people that he is going to somehow lock up people… and this is continuing by a lawyer,” Gonsalves said on Tuesday.

Also speaking at the NDP’s manifesto launch on Wednesday was party president Arnhim Eustace, who said that in regard to five voters being removed from the East Kingstown voters’ list, the supervisor of elections had not got back to him with any explanations as to why they had been incorrectly registered in the first place.

This, despite him being the person who lodged the complaint initially.

“I never got a response from the supervisor.”

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on November 5, supervisor of elections Sylvia Findlay said she did not respond to Eustace’s letter because in it, he had threatened her with legal action.

“Maybe it is not the courteous thing to do, but I am not responding, I am doing my work….”

Eustace also criticized the registering officer – saying that the NDP’s discovery of the incorrectly transferred constituents was proof that she is “not doing her job”.

“There’s a group of people whose job that is – to do illegal registration! And the fact that five out of six could be proven to be illegal tells you what the story is.”

Lewis further said that there are registering officers who cause problems with lawful transfers when they believe that the individuals are NDP supporters.

“People who live in the constituencies, they are having a tremendous amount of problems being able to be transferred.” (JSV)

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