February 20, 2001

Motions against Gypsy and Chaitan put off again

EXTRACT: Trinidad Express

HEARING of the PNM’s election petitions against Junior Culture Minister Winston "Gypsy" Peters and Junior Energy Minister William Chaitan will begin on March 12.

The matter was called yesterday before Justice Melville Baird in the Port of Spain High court and all parties agreed that the matter had to be put to a new date.

Last week, PNM attorney Reginald Armour gave an undertaking not to pursue the election petitions until Justice Ivor Archie gave his decision in the constitutional motions of Gypsy and Chaitan.

PNM’s attorneys obtained leave to file the petitions last December by Justice Gregory Smith. The party wants the court to declare that the election of both UNC candidates was void and that the PNM candidates Franklin Khan and Farad Khan were validly elected because Gypsy and Chaitan filed false nominations papers which said that they owed no allegiance to a foreign power on nomination day.

The PNM will be arguing that Gypsy and Chaitan were citizens of the United States and Canada respectively when they filed their nominations papers to contest the December 11 general election.

In the motions, Gypsy and Chaitan argued that their constitutional rights were being infringed by the filing of the petitions, among other things.

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