by Benjamin Flowers
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP)’s petition against the United Democratic Party (UDP)’s Cayo North area representative, Elvin Penner, is null and void, attorney Rodwell Williams argued before Justice Minnette Hafiz-Betran on Tuesday, May 15.
Williams said that the petition filed by Orlando Habet’s attorneys, Said Musa and Anthony Sylvestre, is an abuse of the court process, because their second petition was by and large a “cut and paste” of their original April 2 document that Justice Hafiz-Betran had already struck out.
He said that leave had been granted to them to prepare an actual petition, but what was presented was not in compliance with the court’s orders. He said that by doing so they have rendered the petition a nullity.
On Monday, April 2, the last day in which petitions regarding the March 7th general elections were to be heard, Musa and Sylvestre, appeared before Justice Betram to request leave from the court to file a petition and included a “draft” copy of the intended petition.
The document included allegations of bribery against Penner, as well as a challenge against the Returning Officer’s refusal to conduct a recount in the March 7th General Elections.
Several points, including the bribery allegations, were rejected, because the deadline for filing under those grounds had passed.
However, on Tuesday, April 10, leave was granted to file a petition in respect to the refusal of the recount.
Sylvestre, however, maintains that there was no abuse of process; and that no violation of the Representation of the People’s Act was committed.
If Justice Betram accepts Williams’ submission, it will be the end of the Cayo North election petition in the Supreme Court.
Justice Betram has reserved judgment until May 24.