The decision by the High Court judge in the contempt of court matter heard on January 16th, 2023, is not a vindication of the unlawful conduct of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP).
Contrary to a statement from ABLP chairman E. Paul Chet green, the ruling did not validate Rawdon Turner as the legitimate Labour Party candidate for St Peter. Neither the ABLP nor Mr. Turner were before the court.
The action was taken against two senior election officials regarding a decision of the High Court that ought to have prevented the nomination of Mr. Turner as the candidate for the ABLP in St. Peter. The court gave the defendants the benefit of the doubt that they acted in contempt by disobeying an order from a matter in which they were not parties, because the court was unable to determine whether those responsible were actually in breach of the order.
The May 2022 order granted an interim declaration that “Rawdon Turner was not selected in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Constitution of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party.
“The interim injunction to stand until the hearing and determination of this matter or until there are fresh actions/proceedings initiated and conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Constitution of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party”.
The matter was determined in December 2022, the order was never varied and therefore stood to be obeyed by rule of law.
Mr. Michael reserves his right to bring fresh contempt of court proceedings to include ABLP executive members Gaston Browne, Mary-Clare Hurst and Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst and Rawdon Turner.