Opposition says it has ‘unmistakable’ proof of election fraud in St Vincent
During a press and party briefing on Saturday at the opposition New Democrat Party (NDP) headquarters in Kingstown, the leader of the NDP Arnhim Eustace said that the party has “unmistakable proof” that last Wednesday’s general elections in St Vincent and the Grenadines were “stolen”.
Arnhim Eustace told a large gathering of media and party supporters that, since his initial statement on local radio on Friday night, additional information has surfaced “confirming, first of all, that there were over 320 illegal votes cast in the constituency of Central Leeward alone; Louis Straker, who has been declared winner of the seat, won by 318 votes.”
“And that is only in two polling stations; I can also say that none of those voting boxes were sealed,” he added.
“You know, as I grapple with the information I received this morning, I became very angry, because our people expect free and fair elections in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” he continued, to applause from party supporters, even some of the press clapped also.
“I would like to give all the details I have of the event, but it is not wise from a legal perspective to do that. It really is disgraceful that, in a supposedly free and democratic country, we find ourselves in this situation where we cannot vouch for the sanctity of the poll in a general election in St Vincent and the Grenadines. This is a disgrace. It is something that we have to be ashamed of, something that should be condemned by the international and regional community,” Eustace said.
He went on to talk about the poll count at the polling station after counting of ballots by the presiding election officer.
“And believe it or not, in CLA1, that’s the polling station, 100 percent of the people on the list voted, where you can ever hear that? When you get 65 percent or 70 percent voting in a polling station, you figure you are doing pretty well. But to have 100 percent of the votes being cast of those persons in the list is really a very serious matter. It can’t happen that 100 percent of the people will turn out to vote,” he pointed out.
Eustace said, “What is more notable is that in that same polling station, a lady living in Tobago is listed as having voted, but she was in Tobago and she has posted on Facebook declaring she did not cast a vote in SVG.
“We are continuing to investigate that particular matter, because that brings up another very important issue, there are people whose names or whose ballots were filled out by somebody else and that person voted. We will be giving a great deal of attention to that.
“And the lady herself has already been on Facebook indicating that she wasn’t here.
“Now, when you combine that with the number of polling stations, I think you have about three, where you had 100 percent, and, in one case, over 100 percent of the people voting, it tells you that this whole election is a fraud and we must not accept the result of this election and the New Democratic Party will not accept the results of this election.”
Eustace stated the NDP will take the necessary legal action.
“Our team has been working almost full time. Right now, we have people in the field dealing with some of these issues. Because it is clear to me today that the ULP did not win the election on Wednesday. And we will be continuing and we are continuing today to do the necessary work and in another 48 hours, we will expect to have some matters before the court.
“I am aware that it is the yuletide season and a lot of people would want to turn their minds to Christmas. That is understandable. And, I want you to recognize that work is still going on,” he said, adding that he was criticized by some for not making a statement on Thursday or Friday, which he went on to explain.
“The day before, I was standing on the steps of the police station in Layou for six and a half hours in front of the crowd of people who were down there, I could not make a statement or walk around and visit my constituency and I apologized for it on Friday night.
“We are not, under any circumstance, giving in to this particular issue with the election in St Vincent and the Grenadines. I cannot tell you how much time it will take. It is a legal matter. It could be short, and I hope it is short. But we are doing the work, which is necessary for us to form the government in St Vincent and the Grenadines not long from now,” he continued.
Eustace asserted that the elections were conducted in circumstances that were illegal and improper, and which have undermined the will of the electorate who voted.
“I know that this view is shared by the majority of Vincentians, who are aware of the miserable social and economic conditions in this country under the ULP government,” Eustace said in conclusion.