High Court Judge Madam Justice Cicely Chase Tuesday evening dismissed the application to call off Wednesday’s elections in Barbados, ruling that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter, local reports say.
According to Barbados Today, Philip Catlyn of the Barbados Sovereignty Party had applied, contending that excluding COVID-19 positive individuals from the election breaches Section 6 of the Representation of the People Act enshrining the right of eligible residents and citizens to vote.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley had earlier dismissed the move as an attempt to stop people from returning her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to power.
In the last general elections on May 24, 2018, Mottley’s party grabbed all 30 seats in Parliament. But one of the legislators, Bishop Joseph Atherley, left to become Opposition Leader.
In calling a snap election for January 19, the prime minister called on the people of Barbados to unite around a common cause, government, and leader.
But the snap election call did not go down well with the opposition Democratic Labour Party (DLP) leader Verla De Peiza who described the move as alarming to the Island’s democracy and expressed concern over public health risks due to COVID-19.
Wednesday’s elections will be Barbados’ first since becoming a republic last year.
A total of 108 candidates, representing seven political parties and nine independents are contesting the poll.
Political observers say it will be a straight fight between the ruling BLP and the opposition DLP.