Findlay finally vindicated
The manner in which former supervisor of elections Sylvia Findlay was treated by supporters of the New Democratic Party (NDP) and others is shameful, but it is good that she has been vindicated by the Court.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves expressed this view last Friday, while speaking on We FM, one day after Justice Stanley John dismissed the two election petitions filed by the NDP.
The petitions were filed weeks after the December 2015 general elections and sought to have the results in Central Leeward and North Windward declared null and void.
The elections were won by the Unity Labour Party, by eight seats to the NDP’s seven.
Shortly after the petitions were filed, a group calling themselves “The Frontline”, led by political activist Luzette King, began protesting outside the Electoral Office on Bay Street.
On a daily basis, persons hurled insults at Findlay as she made her way to work. She was also attacked on social media.
Speaking on radio, the Prime Minister said that during the harassment of the former elections supervisor, the NDP and several other institutions remained silent and never denounced the attacks directed on Findlay.
“This woman was subjected to bully boy and bully girl tactics, harassed, traduced, defamed, her going and comings were nightmares,” said Gonsalves.
He said The Frontline, which he described as, “just a handful of persons trying to create disorder”, was joined from time to time, by others who should have known better.
“…being given suck and support by Arnhim Eustace, by Lorraine Friday, by [St Clair] Leacock and [Daniel] Cummings. All the various members of the NDP. The leadership in other words telling them that what they were doing, was perfectly in order, things they were doing were perfectly in order, to curse, verbally abuse, traduce, defame, assault a woman of integrity.
Findlay is a former secondary school principal, a member of the teachers’ union, the teachers’ credit union and a pillar of the Anglican church.
The Prime Minister said what is sad, is that some right-thinking persons including high-ranking people and the Anglican community didn’t have a word to say about what Findlay was going through, so it is good that she has been vindicated by the court’s decision.
“I didn’t hear anything from the Christian Council either, but that is it, the independent courts vindicated her, and it was wonderful to read the judgement seeing over the 62 pages of various points of her vindication and where the court repeatedly said it accepts the evidence of Miss Findlay in relation to this or that or so on or so fought,” Gonsalves told listeners.
He said that elections officers have done great service and where the judge felt he had to issue critiques he did.
Gonsalves added also that an election was run in 15 consistencies with different officials and one or two of them might have slipped up “with dotting the I properly or crossing the T properly” but none of that affected the election.
“The elections were not a travesty, it was not a sham. The election was conducted within the framework of the laws of the country,” stated Gonsalves who added that it must be noted that the same system saw seven NDP candidates successful with their North Leeward representative Roland “Patel” Matthews winning by only 12 votes.
“There is no way to steal an election in SVG,” stated Gonsalves while adding that the Government lost the first election that was run by Findlay-Scrubb in 2009.
The Prime Minister also congratulated the persons engaged in the judicial exercise, stating that this country remains a truly functioning democracy of the highest quality with an independent judiciary.