Flow of witnesses at a trickle

Stabroek News
February 23, 2000

Hubert Rodney, counsel for the respondent Chief Election Officer Stanley Singh, could not sustain the bounty of witnesses of recent days when only three PPP polling agents showed up for court yesterday.

The ever courteous Rodney was back to seeking the court's indulgence and gave a multitude of reasons for the lack of witnesses. Justice Claudette Singh was not too impressed and advised Rodney to increase his output after the Mashramani holiday. Raphael Trotman, counsel for petitioner Esther Perreira, compounded Rodney's discomfort by declining to cross-examine two of the three, leading to a very brief session.

The three were; Drupattie Singh from Barr Street, Kitty; Kapildeo Rampersaud from Parika Backdam Primary School and Shameer Mohammed from Diamond Primary School.

Trotman's cross-examination of Singh involved his favourite prop - the CARICOM Audit Commission report, and he managed with his standard line of reasoning to get the witness to concur that the 45,000 votes said to be cast without ID cards were invalid.

The elections petition was brought by Esther Perreira on the grounds that the 1997 elections process was so flawed as to be unable to accurately reflect the will of the people.