Sat | Aug 19, 2017

UPDATED: Wildman seeks injunction halting St James South magisterial recount

Published:Friday | March 11, 2016 | 3:39 PM
Wildman: It is my firm belief that the magistrate in counting the ballots, especially (those from) PD 31, committed grave jurisdictional errors.

Adrian Frater, News Editor

WESTERN BUREAU:
Hugh Wildman, the attorney representing the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Homer Davis in the magisterial recount of ballots cast in St James South is seeking a Supreme Court injunction halting the continuation of the count.

The matter is to be heard on Saturday morning at 11 o'clock.

Wildman has cited grave jurisdictional errors on the part of presiding magistrate, Ann-Marie Granger.

"It is my firm belief that the magistrate in counting the ballots, especially (those from) PD 31, committed grave jurisdictional errors. She ought not to have counted those ballots, and pursuant to that error, I have just served a copy of an application which will be heard tomorrow morning (Saturday) at 11, seeking to stay the magisterial recount," Wildman told the media at the end of today's third day of counting.

"I have actually taken out action against the magistrate to prevent her from continuing the count until this matter is determined in the Supreme Court," he said.

The magisterial recount was initiated by Davis after the People’s National Party (PNP's) Derrick Kellier was declared the winner at the end of final count following the February 25 elections, which the JLP won by a razor-thin 32-31 seat margin. 

The National Democratic Movement's Ras Astor Black and the Marcus Garvey Progressive Party’s Joseph Hilton also contested the seat.

Wildman’s court action stems from Granger's rejection of his application to exclude ballots that did not have the presiding officer's initials or the polling date on them. 

The attorney is contending that the magistrate overstepped her jurisdiction by accepting the disputed ballot.

However, in explaining her decision to reject Wildman’s request, RM Granger said she was satisfied that the disputed ballots were properly supplied by the presiding officer.

At the end of today's count, which saw 87 of the 106 boxes counted, the tally was as follows:

Homer Davis (JLP) – 5,105

Derrick Kellier (PNP) –  4,880

Ras Astor Black (NDM) – 33

Joseph Hilton (MGPP) – 28.
 

*NOTE: Earlier, this story had incorrectly stated that Wildman had obtained the injunction. He, in fact, had only applied for it. The hearing to determine whether it is to be granted was scheduled for Saturday at 11.30 a.m.