Independent candidate, Asot Michael suffered a crushing legal defeat on Monday when Justice Dia Forrester dismissed his attempt to have the Supervisor of Elections, Dame Lorna Simon, and the Returning Officer for St. Peter, held in contempt of court for allowing Rawdon Turner to be nominated as the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party’s (ABLP) candidate last month.
Michael has argued for nigh on a year that Turner’s candidacy was invalid and, based on the ABLP’s own constitution, improper after he was deemed “unsuitable” to run as a candidate on the party’s ticket in Wednesday’s election.
This resulted in Michael leveraging his considerable financial resources to wage war on the ABLP in a bid to have the court block the party from proceeding with Turner as their candidate.
Despite winning several battles, Michael now appears to have lost the proverbial war as Justice Forrester dismissed his motion to hold the senior Antigua Barbuda Electoral Commission officers in contempt of court.
Chairman of the ABLP, E. P. Chet Greene said on Monday evening following the court’s decision: “The ABLP welcomes the learned Judge’s decision which validates the Party’s determination to continue, free of any hindrance, with Rawdon Turner as the legitimate and only Labour Party candidate for the St. Peter constituency.
“The ABLP acts only within the law. That is why we were always confident of the position we took in this matter, despite the assertions of Mr. Asot Michael.”