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Moruga recount delays EBC probe into Alleyne issue
The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has not yet started to examine the issue of United National Congress (UNC) candidate Ian Alleyne’s eligibility to vote in Monday’s St Joseph by-election, EBC chief elections officer Ramesh Nanan said yesterday. The People’s National Movement (PNM) called for a probe after his name and a Valsayn address appeared on the Cipriani Labour College electoral list on Monday. His address on his nomination papers was Brechin Castle, Couva.
Alleyne also later said he voted in St Joseph in two recent elections although he had not lived in the area for more than eight years. Yesterday, Nanan said he was involved yesterday in the recount for the Moruga seat, which the UNC won, and had not yet examined the matter. He said he could not answer queries on the issue until the investigation ended. “We have to look at all the circumstances,” he added.
Earlier in the day, before Nanan’s comment, other EBC officials said the rules for voting in an area where one lived called for someone to be registered in that area. They said if someone moved and had not changed registration, the EBC could not cancel the registration until one had qualified to register in the area to which one had moved. They said to qualify, one had to be found to be resident in a place for more than two months.
They pointed to several relevant sections of the Representation of the People Act, including Section 11 (2). It says where an elector for a district ceases to reside in the area, the elector does not cease on that account to be qualified to vote there until the elector qualified to register in another place. They also pointed to the case of Winston “Gypsy” Peters, who in 2000 was prevented from voting in Mayaro because he lived in Chaguanas. It led to a court case which Peters won.
They could not say where Alleyne voted in the local government polls. Alleyne did not answer calls yesterday. (GA)
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