Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Bid to stop Mpatt polls
Justice Nadia Kangaloo is expected to rule this morning on an application by five doctors seeking an injunction to halt the Medical Professionals Association of T&T (MPATT) executive elections carded for this afternoon. Last evening the doctors, led by MPATT president candidate, Dr Visham Bhimull, through their attorney Devesh Maharaj, attempted to secure an interim injunction in the Port-of-Spain High Court to block the current MPATT executive, led by Ravindranath Narine, from holding the elections.
Bhimull and doctors Fidel Rampersad, Raj Kamala Reddy Avuthu, Ryan Richardson and Shaun Lynch, all of whom form the slate, MPATT Reformers, are challenging the executive’s decision to reject their candidacy for the elections. They are the lone slate challenging the incumbent executive. Last evening Kangaloo, after hearing legal arguments from Maharaj and MPATT’s attorney Rishi Dass, said she needed time to deliberate and adjourned the matter to 8 am today.
The doctors are seeking the court’s intervention, claiming they were treated unfairly by the executive. Bhimull’s nomination, as well as Avuthu, Richardson and Rampersad’s, were rejected on grounds they filed their nomination forms late. However, the doctors contend that MPATT advertised the deadline for nominations as April 3 and they filed their forms on that date.
Bhimull and the three other doctors were notified by e-mail they could not contest the elections since their nominations should have been filed on April 2, the actual deadline for nominations. The executive election has been carded for midday to 5 pm today at MPATT’s 86 Main Road, Chaguanas, office. Public Services Association (PSA) officials are expected to preside over it.
Bhimull, in an interview with the T&T Guardian on Monday, said there were a series of highly suspicious events in the lead-up to the elections and he believed there was a concerted attempt for the current executive to remain in office. Lynch, who was contesting the general secretary post, was suspended from MPATT with immediate effect last week, as well as Bhimull, after an alleged incident at MPATT’s office.
Lynch received a notice of suspension and a rejection of his nomination after he was accused of abusing the office secretary and threatening her on April 9. He said all he attempted to do was get a list of electors so they could begin their campaign. He said no threats were made nor were they hostile to the secretary. Subsequent to the alleged incident MPATT closed its office.