UPDATE: A motion to have Barbados' January 19th general elections delayed has been rejected by the High Court, which says it has no jurisdiction in the matter. Madame Justice Cicely Chase, who heard in the Appeals Court, handed down a ruling stating that the motion was inadequately and inappropriately filed in the High Court instead of an election court, and therefore the matter could not be heard.
(CMR) Barbados Sovereignty Party filed an injunction to call off tomorrow's general election stating that a large number of persons who are COVID-19 positive would not be able to vote. The party also brought action against President Dame Sandra Mason and Attorney General Dale Marshall.
The High Court was hearing the matter on Tuesday.
Last month, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley called a snap election weeks after the country officially became a republic.
According to Barbados Today, Philip Catlyn of the Barbados Sovereignty Party claims that excluding more than 5 000 COVID-19 positive citizens from the election breaches. Section 6 of the Representation of the People Act enshrines the right of eligible residents and citizens to vote.
“It’s about the rights of the people of Barbados. I feel that as a citizen, I have a right to be informed not only informed but to be asked a question, what is my interest? The people that serve me are elected people that we gave our proxy to to do our bidding, and we have now got a republic that we had no input into, we have a president that we had no input into, we have an election that was sprung upon us after going through COVID for two years…worse we are told you have 22 days to do this,” Catlyn contended.
Human rights attorney Lalu Hanuman, representing Catlyn, insists that the right to vote is a fundamental human right and that the case has merit.
“I personally have no ulterior motives of any sort, other than upholding human rights. The right to vote is a fundamental right. It is enshrined in international convention…. We have been struggling since the days of slavery, this is why we transition to a republic, and one of the most fundamental parts of the process is being able to have a government of your choice and the only way you can have a government of your choice is to have the right to vote. I have no issues with Prime Minister Mia Mottley.”
Mottley said the matter rests squarely with the Electoral and Boundaries Commission.