ELECTION DRAMA: Former Pan Trinbago trustee Keith Simpson shows a victory sign as he leaves the San Fernando High Court yesterday with Maurice Alexander, bottom left, former Pan Trinbago president Patrick Arnold, front right, Pan Trinbago Eastern Region chairman Vernon Morancie and Denise Hernandez, partly hidden. —Photo: INNIS FRANCIS

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Victory for Simpson in Pan Trinbago suit

By Verdel Bishop

Following a successful injunction seeking to prevent Pan Trinbago from holding its triennial elections in October, Keith Simpson is singing praises following yet another victory after a High Court ruling yesterday that he is eligible to contest Pan Trinbago elections for the post as treasurer. 

In October, a lawsuit was filed by four prospective candidates—Keith Simpson, Steadson Jack, Maurice Alexander and Denise Hernandez, whose names were not on the list of candidates leading up to the elections although the four had submitted their nominations to secretary of Pan Trinbago, Richard Forteau. Forteau subsequently informed them that the forms were invalid because they were not named as delegates of any member steelband. The lawsuit was filed by Senior Counsel Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj.

Simpson, who spoke to Express yesterday said while he is happy about the victory, he is not proud about having to come up against the world governing body of pan.

Simpson said, "To me the whole issue is nothing to be happy about because it should not have reached to this stage. We should have been allowed to contest the election. I don't think it's anything that I am happy about having to go to court against an organisation representing pan men and the world governing body for steel pan. We were convinced in our mind that we were in our rights and natural justice should have flowed, but I am happy about the victory."

According Article 10 (7) and (8) of the Pan Trinbago constitution, any delegated member of a financial steelband or any out-going Central Executive Committee Members shall be eligible for election to any office of the Association. All persons seeking election to any office of the Association shall have their nominations supported by two (2) members in good financial standing with the Association on the prescribed form and shall submit their nominations to the Secretary of the Association no later than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date prescribed for the elections.

Simpson, Jack, Alexander and Hernandez submitted their nomination papers in accordance with Article 10 (a) and (b) of the constitution. They have each been authorised by their respective steelbands to contest the elections and are therefore delegated members for the purposes of contesting the elections.

While Simpson is able to participate in Pan Trinbago's due elections, Jack, Alexander and Hernandez who are contesting the positions for trustee, education officer and external relations officer respectively, will know their fate on January 17, 2013 when the matter will come up for hearing.

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