T&T’s United National Congress loses general election appeal

The Appeal Court in Trinidad and Tobago has dismissed an appeal by the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) to declare five seats in the marginal constituencies in the Sept. 7, 2015 General Election null and void based on the one-hour extension given by the Election and Boundaries Commission (EBC).

The three judges, including Chief Justice Ivor Archie dashed the hopes of the UNC-led by former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of going back to the polls to have a by-election in the five constituencies as they ruled that the polls had been conducted “in a fair and free manner consistent with the constitutional requirements for democracy.”

However, the court ruled that the EBC overstepped its remit when it decided to extend the polls by one hour due to heavy rainfall.

The Court of Appeal’s decision on the issue is final as the UNC cannot appeal to the British Privy Council.

In delivering the judgement justice Archie said “the result was clear to us and we thought that we should not keep the population waiting.”

High Court Judge Mira Dean-Armorer’s in August had dismissed the UNC’s petition to render the result null and void in the five marginal constituencies.

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