“Continue to do the great work that you are doing,” Carmona told members of the Commission gathered at yesterday’s ceremony at President’s House to swear in Kerrigan. He also said “unstinting independence” was integral, as was fairness.
The EBC has been found to have breached election law last year by unilaterally extending polling hours. However, the matter is subject to appeal by the Opposition UNC on the second question of whether the election was void.
EBC chairman Mark Ramkerrysingh yesterday said the EBC has not yet come to any decision on whether it will challenge the finding that the extension of time was a breach of the law. However, he said the EBC would certainly not challenge the finding that the election was legal because it was substantially in compliance with the law.
“It’s the subject of an appeal,” the chairman said. “We have to wait and see what the decision of the Court of Appeal is at which time we will give a fuller view of what our position is.” In relation to local government elections due later this year, he said the EBC is ready.
“We have already started our election preparedness meetings,” Ramkerrysingh said. “By this weekend there will be advertisements going out for poll-day staff because as you know we will have to get that done; training of pollday staff; training of returning officers; we have started cleaning ballot boxes and getting things in place and I think we are pretty much ready for it.” On whether any errors might occur in the upcoming elections, he said, “We always operate within the law. The EBC has historically always operated within the law.
It’s difficult to comment on it too much until we hear the views of the Court of Appeal. Anything I say now would be commenting on that decision.” On whether the EBC will file a cross-appeal, Ramkerrysingh said, “Our lawyers are looking into it now and we will shortly be making a decision as to whether we would want to cross appeal.
The decision has been taking as yet.” The EBC has until next Thursday to do so.
Of Kerrigan, Carmona said he felt there was need for the perspective of an anthropologist to examine the EBC in terms of anthropology, culture and class