Justice Ann Marie Smith on Thursday 2 May ruled that there was no vacancy in the House of Assembly and that Speaker of the House Hon. Julian Willock should swear in the Fourth District Representative Hon. Mark Vanterpool.
The matter was taken before the court after Hon. Mark Vanterpool wrote to the Clerk of the House informing of his resignation from political office days after the general elections, and then changed his mind deciding that he wanted to keep his seat.
Upon being sworn in as Speaker Hon. Willock informed that he had accepted Hon. Vanterpool’s resignation and stated that there should be by-election to fill the Fourth District seat. However, Hon. Willock’s request for the Governor to issue a writ for the by-election was unsuccessful as His Excellency Augustus Jaspert upon consultation with the Attorney General determined that there was no vacancy as Hon. Vanterpool’s resignation was invalid.
This resulted in a standoff as the Speaker did not swear in Hon, Vanterpool which prompted the Fourth District Representative to seek legal recourse on the matter.