The Deputy leader of the main opposition Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), Mark Brantley, has filed a petition in the courts here challenging his defeat in the July 11 Nevis island Administration (NIA) elections. Brantley lost the St. John’s Parish constituency by 14 votes to the incumbent Henry Daniel as the Nevis Reformation Party (NRF) regained control of the NIA winning three of the five seats that were at stake in the polls.
Brantley wants the Court to declare the elections void based on a number of irregularities, including the CCM’s lack of access to state-owned media and the removal of over 200 previously registered voters from the voters list in contravention of the constitution. Prior to the election, the CCM said it was buoyed by the High Court ruling that the names of five persons be re-instated to the Voters’ List.
Brantley told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that Justice Mario Michel agreed that the act of removing the names of the five voters from the list “where they were not advised or had an opportunity for a hearing …was unlawful”.
Brantley said that his party had on behalf of the five voters brought the court action adding that it was a test case for the other 233 voters whose names were not now on the list.
“The judge declined to order that the other 233 also be restated on the basis that he did not have the information in front of him for each and every one, Brantley said, adding “we are satisfied that they (the other voters) are in a similar situation to this five…and with this precedent we now have a springboard to launch an action in relation to all 233 persons”.
The petition is also alleging that Brantley’s right to freedom of expression was infringed upon, as the state run media was used exclusively by the incumbent NRP. It also claims that the date of the election was bad in law.