Mon | Aug 20, 2018

More JTA setbacks: Presidential elections dispute for trial next year

Published:Friday | August 22, 2014 | 12:38 PM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The trial over the disputed 2014 presidential elections of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) is set to start in May next year in the Supreme Court.

Following a case management hearing this morning, it has been decided that the matter will be heard on May 4 and 5.

On Tuesday, defeated candidate Georgia Waugh Richards was successful in getting a court injunction barring the appointment of Norman Allen as president-elect at the ongoing teachers’ union conference in St James.

Waugh-Richards sought the court action after her initial victory was overturned following a recount of ballots in July.

The defeated candidate wants the court to order a fresh election.

Meanwhile, an October date is to be set for the hearing of an appeal by the JTA against the injunction barring the installation of the president-elect.

Yesterday, the JTA represented by Caroline Hay, filed an urgent appeal seeking to have Justice Lennox Campbell’s ruling quashed.

The JTA wanted the ruling set aside before the union’s conference ends tomorrow.

However, Court of Appeal judge, Patrick Brooks, said it was not urgent enough and ordered that the claimants be served with relevant documents and written submissions made by September 8.

The JTA’s lawyer says the association is hoping that the parties can settle the matter urgently.

According to her the union is hurting badly as it is strenuous to operate the association without the president-elect in place.

She says the immediate past president does not have powers to act in a manner that the president-elect can.

According to Hay, the union wants to ensure that its members and the public understand that it does not have preference for candidates.

During yesterday's first day of the JTA’s conference, past president Paul Adams was among those who suggested that the union should try to settle the matter out of court.

Immediate past president Dr Mark Nicely indicated there will be a high level discussion with former JTA presidents and others, to arrive at a solution.

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