In a 2-1 majority decision earlier today, the Appeal Court has ruled in favour of the United National Congress (UNC) in dismissing the appeal of the Elections and Boundary Commission (EBC) on the UNC’s election petition.
The Appeal Court panel comprised Chief Justice Ivor Archie- who voted against the petition moving forward, and Justices Allan Mendonca and Peter Jamadar, who voted for it. The decision now paves the way for the UNC to challenge the results of six marginal constituencies in the 2015 General election. The Opposition is claiming that election results would have been different if the EBC had not decided to extend voting for one hour in Trinidad, due to inclement weather.
The six constituencies the party is challenging are La Horquetta/Talparo, Moruga/Tableland, San Fernando West , St Joseph, Toco/Sangre Grande and Tunapuna.
Chief Justice Archie said that the evidence presented by the UNC did not show that the process was unfair or that the results of the election would have been different if the general elections was not extended by one hour. Justices Mendonca and Jamadhar, however, said that the voting process had to be seen as free and fair and that justice must not only be done, but seen to be done. The Justices added that where there was public trust and confidence, the outcome would be more accepting, despite a disagreement.
Speaking outside the Appeal Court today Attorney General Faris Al Rawi, said he believes the Peoples National Movement will be victorious, despite the ruling in favour of the UNC.