Trotman delivers closing address as elections petition nears end

Stabroek News
August 3, 2000

It was with overwhelming relief that attorney-at-law Raphael Trotman delivered his closing address yesterday - two years since he helped file the elections petition.

Trotman noted that there were 282 witnesses of which only 17 were called by lawyers for the petitioner Esther Perreira. The rest he charged were trooped out by the respondents like soldiers as part of a diabolical plan to delay the proceedings, to sap the energies of all involved, to obscure the issues and ultimately render the consequences of the ruling moot.

But Trotman stated that the application of the law must always be blinkered from the distractions of friendships and politics. No election law can be sacrificed at the altar of expediency, he noted, and there were too many instances of transgression whether deliberate or not that should persuade the judge that the results were invalid.

From the flawed preparation of the voters list to the secret swearing in of the President with only half the votes counted, the 1997 elections were far from the best, he added.

Trotman praised those witnesses who stood up under pressure to tell the truth including "the petitioner's best witness" Chief Election Officer Stanley Singh and he scorned the deafening silence of others such as Elections Commission Chairman Doodnauth Singh and polling officials Ganga Persaud, Albert Henry and Arnold Depoo.

And with the close of his address, the election petition came to an end... well almost. Senior Counsel Doodnauth Singh and Ralph Ramkarran have indicated that they wish to respond but the court was adjourned to an unspecified date.

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