PDM presents case for seat allocation, AG shares same stance


19-October-2011

The court is being chaired by Chief Justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, assisted by judges Mohan Burhan and Duncan Gaswaga.

The PDM is being represented by lawyer Basil Hoareau, while the Electoral Commission as the first respondent is represented by lawyer Frank Ally. Attorney General (AG) Rony Govinden, the second respondent, is representing himself and is not contesting the petition.

The earlier part of the hearing dealt with the Constitution as passed in 1993, which provided several formulas for the allocation of proportional seats.
 
Objecting to the petition, lawyer Ally said that the intention of an amendment to the electoral laws passed in 1996, was to calculate the number of votes obtained per candidate or party, based on all votes cast, including those rejected - the threshold being a minimum 10% for each seat.

The petition presented by lawyer Hoareau stated that all citizens voting, must do so in accordance to the law.

He said that Section 25 of the law requires that all ballot cards be marked by either a
“tick”, an “X” or a “cross”. This notice, he noted, was published in Nation on September 24.

The law stipulates that no other writing or marks may be put on the ballot paper, in which case will be considered “rejected”. 

He argued that it was therefore improper that such ballot papers be taken into consideration when compiling the allocation of seats in the Assembly.

The Attorney General, who since the case was first heard on October 5 had informed  the court that he had no objection to the petition and was not contesting it, has since in a pleading confirmed to the Constitutional Court that he is of the “same view” as the petitioner.
  
Explaining his stance, Mr Govinden said there cannot be two ways of electing members to the National Assembly – one based solely on valid votes (like in the case of directly elected members) and the other to also include rejected votes (as in the case of determining proportionate seats).

Judgement will be delivered on Tuesday next week.

Send your comment :

Name *

Email *

Comment *