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PNP's Bogle scoffs at reports of possible court challenge

Published:Thursday | March 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Arthur Hall, Senior Staff Reporter

The People's National Party's (PNP) representative in the Yallahs division in Western St Thomas, Constantine Bogle, has scoffed at reports that his defeated opponent, Courtney Lewin, is headed to court to overturn his victory.

"It is his constitutional right, but it does not mean that he has a case," Bogle told The Gleaner yesterday.

"If he had a case, why did he not object from I was nominated or before the election? It is now that he has lost by more that 300 votes that he is saying something," Bogle said.

"[It's] either he is looking some publicity or he cannot accept the loss."

The victorious PNP representative was responding to reports that Lewin, the defeated Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate, is to file a petition in the Supreme Court this morning challenging the result.

Alleged breach

Lewin charges Bogle was in breach of Section Seven of the Parish Councils Act at the time he was elected.

"The Act is clear that once a person has a contract with the council, he is disqualified from being elected," said Lewin.

According to Lewin, Bogle is a director of the Paul Bogle Foundation which has a contract with the St Thomas Parish Council.

But Bogle told The Gleaner that he did not have a contract with the council, and while he was associated with the Paul Bogle Foundation, there was nothing to prevent him from being a candidate.

"The Paul Bogle Foundation is a non-profit organisation and I don't get a salary or any other financial gain from it," said Bogle.

Preliminary results, after the votes were counted on Monday, show Bogle winning with 1,442 votes to Lewin's 1,124.

The PNP captured the St Thomas Parish Council with seven divisions to the JLP's three.

Section Seven of the Parish Councils Act includes a provision which states that: "Subject to the provisions of subsections (3) and (41) every person who is either directly or indirectly pecuniarily or otherwise, interested in any contract with the parish council of any parish shall ... be disqualified from being elected a councillor of such parish council."