High Court Judge Justice Brian Cottle on Monday described as a “fishing expedition” an application by Ben Exeter, the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate for the constituency of Central Leeward in the December 9th, 2015, general election, who was seeking access to certain election related documents.
On December 17th, Mr. Exeter filed an application in the High Court seeking that the Judge order the Supervisor of Elections, Ms. Sylvia Findlay to among other things, produce forthwith all ballot boxes in her custody in the constituency of Central Leeward and hand them over to the Registrar of the High Court, and that the boxes be opened by the Registrar in the presence of the Applicant and the Applicant be permitted to inspect all the ballot papers contained therein.
But in rejecting Exeter’s application, the Judge in a written judgment handed down yesterday said that he does not consider that the applicant has shown any grounds, far less any strong grounds, to grant the application.
He also said that no suggestion had been made that there exists any danger that those documents presently in the custody of the Supervisor of Elections are in any way at risk of being tampered with.
The legal proceeding was initiated after the NDP claimed that its candidate Mr. Exeter had won the Central Leeward seat, thus giving the party victory in the recent general elections.
But according to Electoral Officials the Unity Labour Party (ULP) candidate for Central Leeward, Sir Louis Straker, won the seat by just over 300 votes.
Mr. Exeter was represented in the matter by Queen’s Counsel Stanley John and Maia Eustace of the law firm Cato and Cato, while the Supervisor of Elections who was the respondent in the matter, was represented by Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan and attorneys Richard Williams and Grahame Bollers.