CHARLESTOWN, Nevis -- The Court of Appeal has upheld the ruling by the lower court that the election of Hensley Daniel to the Nevis Island Assembly on July 11, 2011 was null and void.
Daniel announced on Monday that he had tendered his resignation as a minister of the Nevis Island Administration with immediate effect, and he had so advised the premier, Joseph Parry.
“Let us be clear, elections are not won in the courts, but at the polls. In 2006 and again in 2011, we won at the polls. We will do so again when the Hon. Premier decides to call the by-elections,” Daniel said.
Daniel’s election to represent the St John’s Electoral District in the Nevis Island Assembly was challenged by the opposition Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) member Mark Brantley on various grounds and, in the words of the trial judge “…the main complaint being the illegal removal of the names of over 200 voters from the list…”
In a decision handed down in March, Justice Jones made four orders, as follows:
1. The court refused to grant an order that the names removed from the electoral list for St John’s as a result of objection hearings be put back on the list. Those names remain off the list of voters for Electoral District No. 2 (St John’s).
2. The court refused to grant an order that the Electoral Commission acted in contravention of the constitution of St Christopher and Nevis by failing to take steps to ensure that the persons removed from the list were able to vote in the elections of 11 July, 2012. Those persons did not vote and the court found that the Electoral Commission did nothing wrong.
3. That the petitioner’s right to freedom of expression was breached because the Nevis News Cast (NNC) did not cover any of the political events of the CCM.
4. That the election for the St John’s constituency held on 11 July 2011 is invalid and void.
Daniel and the other respondents in the case filed an appeal against the ruling in so far as it declared the election in St John’s void and that the petitioner’s right to freedom of expression was breached because the Nevis News Cast (NNC) did not cover any of the political events of the CCM.
The court of appeal upheld the lower court’s ruling however.