No Challenge from AG
Attorney General, the Hon. Samuel Bulgin, QC, MLA, JP,
Regarding the Eligibility of Certain Candidates for Election
I have for some time carefully considered the legal issues involved as well as the public interest implications in the context of what I know to be my constitutional responsibility. These are issues which must be approached with prudence and caution.
After considering not only the allegations but the law and the public interest, I take the view that although the Constitution provides that an application to the Grand Court to have an elected Member disqualified from sitting may be made by the Attorney General, among other described parties, that in the current circumstances this is not an action that I should take.
Such an application by an Attorney General would be unusual in the Commonwealth Caribbean and it is clear that the Constitution places no greater onus on the Attorney General than on the other eligible Applicants under section 23 (3) thereof, namely a person who voted or had a right to vote at the election, a person claiming to have had the right to be returned at such election or a person alleging himself to have been a candidate.
As an Applicant, the Attorney General would be placed in the position of pressing the Court to declare a Member of the Legislative Assembly disqualified from sitting, a role that seems to run contrary to the duty of the Attorney to maintain absolute neutrality in political matters. Should another eligible party decide to make such an application, then consideration may be given to whether the Attorney should appear in the case as amicus curiae, and thereby be in a position to assist the Court from a neutral, non-partisan position.