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Mr. Justice Frank Seepersad has today dismissed the election petition filed against the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) relating to the electoral district of Arima Northeast and has ordered the Petitioner to pay the costs of the EBC certified fit for Senior and Junior Counsel.
Mr. Justice Seepersad, in delivering his judgement found that the Petition filed by the United National Congress’ candidate for the electoral district of Arima Northeast, Jairzinho Domingo Gustav Rigsby was hopelessly flawed in that he failed to comply with mandatory provisions of the Representation of the People Act relating to election petitions.
September 18, 2023
At the end of the check of the final result of the poll in the electoral district of Arima Northeast, Kim Magdalene Garcia, the People’s National Movement’s candidate, received two (2) additional votes. This result overturns the outcome of the recount, which was conducted during the period August 16th-17th, 2023 and saw the United National Congress’ candidate Jairzinho Domingo Gustav Rigsby being declared the winner.
Full details of the Press Release can be found hereunder:
August 24, 2023
Fern Narcis-Scope, the Chief Election Officer, acting in accordance with Election Rule 101(15) of the Representation of the People Act, Chap. 2:01, has certified to the Returning Officer for the Electoral District of Lengua/Indian walk that the second recount, which occurred between August 17th– 18th, 2023 has resulted in an equality of votes cast between the candidates obtaining the most votes. The Returning Officer for this electoral district has declared the election void, pursuant to this certification by the Chief Election Officer, making way for fresh elections.
This historic development, is as a result of the tie in the number of votes received by both the People’s National Movement’s and the United National Congress’ candidates in the Local Government Elections. The outcome remained unchanged after two recounts of the votes cast. Both candidates received 1428 votes each.
The full details of the Press Release can be found hereunder:
August 19, 2023
Today, the results of the recount in the electoral district of Maracas/Santa Margarita were declared and the outcome remained the same as on Election Day, with the PNM’s candidate Trudel Noreiga winning this electoral district.
The full contents of the Press Release can be found hereunder:
August 18, 2023
The tie in the electoral district of Arima Northeast is broken. The UNC’s candidate Jairzinho Domingo Gustav Rigsby won by one (1) vote.
At the close of the poll on Monday 14th August 2023, both the PNM and UNC candidates each received 623 votes. The PEP candidate received 81 votes.
The contents of the full Press Release can be found hereunder:
August 17, 2023
A second recount in the electoral district of Lengua/Indian Walk is scheduled to begin today, Thursday 17th August, 2023 at 3 pm. This recount will be conducted in accordance with Election Rule 101 (13) of the Representation of the People Act, Chap. 2:01.
The full Press Release containing the specifics of the Election Rule and the result of the recount for the electoral district of Marabella West can be found hereunder.
The United National Congress’ candidate for the electoral district of Bagatelle/Blue Basin, Nalini Goindoo called off her request into a recount of the votes cast in that electoral district in the Local Government Elections of Monday 14th August, 2023. The election in this electoral district was won by the PNM’s candidate, Alina Zennie Renn by a margin of 220 votes.
The recounts in the electoral districts of Arima West/O’Meara, Auzonville/Tunapuna, Blanchisseuse/Santa Rosa, Five Rivers, Sangre Grande Northeast and San Juan East are also completed.
The full Press Release containing the results of these recounts can be found hereunder
August 16, 2023
Three of the fourteen recounts are completed. Please see the reults in this Press Release, which you can find hereunder:
Whilst the proceedings relative to recounts in fourteen electoral districts is underway, these are the preliminary results of the Local Government Elections, of Monday 14th August, 2023.
With an electorate of 1,091,935 in 141 electoral districts in Trinidad, there was a voter turn-out of 30.34%. The total votes cast were 331,300 with 996 rejected ballots.
The full details can be found in this Press Release
August 15, 2023
Chief Election Officer responds to Opposition Leader’s request for an investigation into “special ballot irregularities”
Fern Narcis-Scope, the Chief Election Officer at the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has officially responded to a request made by the Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar for an investigation into “special ballot irregularities”.
In her response to the Opposition Leader, Narcis-Scope explained that there was no provision in the Election Rules for the sealing of ballot boxes at special polling stations established by the Commission, in accordance with Election Rule 76 of the Representation of the People Act, Chap. 2:01. Narcis-Scope advised that it had become the practice for Special Presiding Officers to use ballot boxes to transport the sealed envelopes but there is no requirement in law, to either use ballot boxes or to seal them. The broken seals were, in fact part of a previous process utilized at the Special Polling Station and was in no way part of the process being witnessed at Queen’s Hall.
Narcis-Scope added that her investigations revealed that as required by law, all the special envelopes were sealed by the Special Presiding Officer and for matters of safety and security in the transportation, all boxes were locked. Further, at the sorting exercise at Queen’s Hall, all the special envelopes were displayed as being sealed and intact. Narcis-Scope noted that the fact that two (2) ballot boxes were not sealed does not impact the outcome of the election in any given electoral district as suggested by the Opposition Leader.
In the second complaint made by the Opposition Leader that the ballots cast at the Sangre Grande Police Station were not packaged according to the standard procedure so that the names of some electors could be viewed by the EBC staff who were responsible for sorting the votes and sending them to the respective Electoral Districts.
Narcis-Scope said her investigations revealed that the eleven (11) covering envelopes with the declaration of identity of the special electors as required by Election Rule 71 were placed in the ballot box at that location, which was then locked and sealed. A proper record was kept of the districts that the ballots were cast for via a Statement of the Contents of the Special Ballot Box in accordance with Election Rule 84 (2) and was duly signed by the Special Presiding Officer. This Statement was also shown to witnesses present at the sorting exercise.
In closing, the Chief Election Officer noted that it was regrettable that notwithstanding the training provided there was a deviation from the approved procedure, this deviation however, did not compromise the integrity of the process as all staff of the Commission designated to participate in special poll proceedings are required to take declarations of secrecy and further, the identity of persons who have cast their ballots is an essential component of the electoral process.
The Chief Election Officer received an official letter from the Opposition Leader calling for an investigation into the aforementioned claims on Sunday 13th August, 2023. These claims were made by members of the UNC, who were invited to witness the sorting of special envelopes for the 2023 Local Government Elections at 1:00 p.m. on Friday 11th August, 2023 at the Helen May Johnstone Conference Room, Queen’s Hall.
August 13, 2023
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