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Challenge to Straker’s nomination scrapped

Challenge to Straker’s nomination scrapped

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Louis Straker defused a conflict that was threatening to derail his re-election bid.

When the nomination process was completed last Monday, there was a cloud hanging over Straker’s legal status.

The Opposition was contending that Straker was not a Commonwealth citizen. But Straker maintained his cool, and in the end, the challenge mounted by his rivals was blown away. {{more}}

Straker explained that he had renounced his USA citizenship long ago, and the opposition’s joy that he would not have been able to contest was shortlived.

Straker has been Central Leeward’s parliamentary representative for nearly 12 years. He eclipsed former holder Herbie Young February 21, 1994, and beat Norrell Hull June 15, 1998, and March 28, 2001.

He was appointed Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Trade Minister and served until January 2005 when he was appointed to the Transport, Works and Housing Ministry.

Straker filed his nomination papers last Monday. But his opponent Norrell Hull hinted that something might have been brewing when he (Hull) completed his nomination.

Supervisor of Elections Rodney Adams received a letter from Andrew Stewart, a registered Central Leeward voter.

According to Stewart, “Straker must state categorically if he is a citizen of the United States of America.”

Stewart wanted to know: “If he is not, then he must publicly declare preferably in an edition of the newspapers, when he revoked his United States citizenship.”

Stewart wrote: “The onus is on you, Mr. Supervisor of Elections to ensure that justice, fair play and the laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are adhered to by everyone.”

Stewart concluded: “I am exercising my fundamental and God-given right as a registered voter of the Central Leeward constituency.”

However, Straker dismissed the challenge and declared: “I am not in the least worried.”

Thirty-four candidates have been nominated for the poll. The governing Unity Labour Party and the main opposition New Democratic Party will field full 15-member slates, while the newly

formed Green Party has candidates in four

constituencies.

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