By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
AN ORDER for a judicial review was granted yesterday against FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis, party Chairman Sidney Collie and FNM Secretary General Michael Foulkes over a “tainted and fraudulent” election process in the Fort Charlotte constituency, according to documents filed in the Supreme Court.
Karen Brown, the former chairperson of the FNM Fort Charlotte Constituency Association, brought an application for leave to apply for judicial review before Justice Indra Charles last week.
According to the application, reprieve is being sought by Ms Brown regarding the decision of Mr Collie to dissolve the association’s officer corps “at the behest of Dr Minnis” and call an early re-election. The application was filed in the Supreme Court on June 23, 2016 and obtained by The Tribune.
It is also alleged that Mr Collie denied at least 75 members of the FNM the right to bring themselves into good standing in order to participate in the re-election process.
The documents said it is hoped that these decisions are quashed and that members elected in a “wrongful” election be barred from executing all powers in addition to other relief. They are also seeking costs.
“On or about the April 29, 2016 I was summoned to a meeting at the FNM party headquarters to meet with, among others, the new Chairman Mr Sydney Collie,” Ms Brown said in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on June 23, 2016.
“Mr Collie announced to me that he had been charged by the Leader Dr Hubert Minnis and the executive committee of the FNM with the special mandate of urgently dissolving the officer corps in the Fort Charlotte FNM Association and replacing it with new faces.
“Though this meeting was characterised to me as a meeting between the chairman and the association’s executive, I was shocked to see members of the association rank and file who I recognised as being vocal supporters of Dr Minnis in attendance. At that moment I realised that Mr Collie, a mandarin in the party of some standing, had been brought in as a special bureaucrat to remake the organisation in the image of the leader.”
The affidavit continued: “The position is that at least 75 persons or more were disfranchised at the election of officers of the executive of the FNM Fort Charlotte Association held on May 31, 2016. I was so disgusted with the process I did not attend the elections.
“I view them as highly irregular and flawed. I regard Mr Collie as having orchestrated a sham. It is my humble contention that the elections process was so irremediably flawed that the outcome of the poll on May 31, 2016 is not a safe, satisfactory or democratic result. In my respectful view as the chairperson of a constituency association for eight years, the management of the affairs of the FNM in relation to the Fort Charlotte denigrated to a kind of abattoir of administration.
“Mr Collie was on a mission not consistent with the normal precepts of democracy. The entire elections process in Fort Charlotte is tainted with fraud and must be set aside.”
According to the order, the officers elected on May 31 are restrained from carrying out any official functions associated with their elected positions until a judgment is made.
A directions hearing is expected to take place on July 26. Attorney Michael Scott will represent Ms Brown, while Senator Carl Bethel will appear on behalf of the party executives.