The United National Congress (UNC) has lost its novel challenge over the dismissal of its election petitions for five marginal seats in the 2015 General Elections.
Delivering a 43-page judgement at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, this morning, Appellate Judges Justice Gregory Smith, Justice Mark Mohammed, and Justice Peter Rajkumar dismissed the appeal, in which the Opposition party was seeking to overturn the decision of another three-member appeal panel. That panel had upheld the decision of High Court Judge Mira Dean-Armourer to dismiss the petitions in October 2016.
There was a steady stream of early morning voters today at the Felicity SDMS Hindu School in Felicity.
Despite a slight downpour of rain shortly before 7 am, voters were still seen trickling in to cast their respective ballots.
There were no reports of any minor or major hiccups as the process is reported as smooth so far.
Government Senator Avinash Singh arrived shortly before 7 am to cast his vote.
“Blunders by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) are a cause for concern,” says Princes Town MP, Barry Padarath.
The MP spoke with Guardian Media on Monday when he went to cast his vote at the Couva Anglican School at the Southern Main Road.
Padarath was informed that the Station opened a few minutes after 6 am, much to the displeasure of the lines of voters who had been at the venue since 5 am, waiting to cast their ballots.
Padarath said he has been informed that there were issues in Mayaro and Princes Town.
Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein says he finds it surprising that voters were accusing EBC officials of not following proper guidelines during the voting process.
He was speaking in response to a report from journalist Cindy Raghubar-Teekersingh that proper procedures were not being followed when she went to vote at the Cowen Hamilton School in Princes Town.
The political leader of the Congress of the People (COP) is hoping for free and fair elections on Monday, when the local government poll takes place.
Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan describes the recent issue with ballot papers as unfortunate, and is hoping the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) would have sorted matters out, so that all systems and protocols won't be compromised come voting day.
The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has been forced to re-issue ballot papers to special electors ahead of the Local Government Election (LGE) to be held on December 2.
The EBC confirmed it had become necessary, after the previous exercise on Wednesday was found not to have followed the prescribed procedure with respect to certain electoral districts.
In a release, the EBC stated:
The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) is encouraging all political parties and registered electors (in Trinidad) to examine the Preliminary List of Electors, which has been sent to each of the polling divisions, for the upcoming Local Government Elections.
According to an official notice issued by the EBC and signed off by the Chief Election Officer, all qualified electors are urged to make an earnest effort to examine the List to ensure that their names and addresses are correctly recorded.