Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 29, 2020 (ZIZ News): Court proceedings began on Thursday in a case brought by Hon. Marcella Liburd, Hon. Konris Maynard, and Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas against Attorney General Hon. Vincent Byron and ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation.
According to counsel for the claimants, Sylvester Anthony the case alleges that the State Of Emergency puts opposition parties at a disadvantage in the days leading up to an election.
He said “We’re saying that the regulations that have been promulgated as a result of the State of Emergency are disproportionately restrictive. It is impacting the Labour Party…the opposition parties in a manner that discriminates against them and in a manner that is favourable to the Unity coalition government.”
He also alleges that the coverage on ZIZ was also unbalanced.
“We say as well that ZIZ as a state-owned corporation has been complicit in terms of promoting government activity,” he said. “Ensuring not only are those things being broadcast live and rebroadcast numerous times during the course of he day but ensuring that their news coverage reflect those events while at the same time there I zero coverage of the Labour Party and of other opposition parties.”
However, Attorney General the Hon Vincent Byron rejects the idea that the state of emergency was used for political advantage. He said the only aim was to protect the people by restricting practices that would most likely spread the covid-19 virus.
He said “To say that because there was a State of Emergency and the regulations that were necessary based on the State of the Emergency to do that, somehow affected one set of people, one group, as opposed to another is not true.”
He continued “The same conditions apply to everybody. We are all viewers of social media here. We see both political parties who show on their media sites giving out care packages, the Labour Party announced that they gave in some cass 7,500. They show where they go around to their constituents, they dance with their people…just yesterday, Nomination Day we saw both parties exercising their right to support the candidate of their choice and so there has been a balance.”
Following Thursday’s hearing the Judge recused himself and all parties returned to the court on Friday morning.