BREAKING: High Court refuses to block holding of PNCR Congress

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 June 2024, 14:15 by Writer

Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire on Friday dismissed applications for injunctions to block the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) from holding its internal elections for leader and members of the Central Executive Committee (CEC). “I am not satisfied that there is enough evidence to suspend or to injunct the holding of the Congress,” she said. The Notice of Application has no merit, she said.
The court heard from party member Brian Collison’s lawyer, Dr Vivian Williams, that efforts to serve court papers on PNCR Leader Aubrey Norton were unsuccessful because the security did not allow entry to the persons who were there to do so. Mrs George-Wiltshire said, in the absence of the lawyer making efforts personally, there was no evidence before the Court to show that steps had been taken to serve the court documents.
Though the court papers, according t0 Mr Williams, were served on PNCR Leader Aubrey Norton by email, she stressed the need for it to be served in person. However, the Chief Justice did not accede to Dr Williams’ request for additional efforts to be made to serve them on the Leader and return Friday afternoon for further deliberations by the court.
The High Court also found that the order that was being sought was vague and insufficiently crafted without being intrusive in the work of the political parties. Dr Williams wanted the court’s assistance to be able to participate in the electoral process by voting and nominating persons, ample time for candidates and members t0 ensure that the delegates are authentic and have a right to vote in keeping with the right of parties to inspect the register. She also raised concern about the enforcement of the “very vague order”.

The Chief Justice also questioned the rati0nale for questioning the Congress circular stating the date for Congress because it did not state that such a decision was made by the CEC. Dr Williams said there was a historical pattern that all Congress circulars had stated the source of the decision.With regards to Mr Collison and other members, the Chief Justice said the filing did not cater for representativeness in keeping with the Civil Procedure Rules.

Also, the Chief Justice could not obtain any guarantee from the lawyer that Mr Collison would be able to bear the cost of cancelled election if he loses the case. “Where costs are involved, the court has to be involved,” she said.
Leader-candidates, Roysdale Forde and Amanza Walton-Desir have suspended their campaign for the elections that are scheduled for Sunday, the last day of the Congress.