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(V.I. Consortium) ST. THOMAS — The Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands in a release issued Saturday, said that members of the 32nd Legislature, whose majority is made up of nine Democrats, should seat beleaguered Senator-elect Kevin Rodriquez, whose chances of becoming a member of the body after winning a seat during the November 8 general election, had waned considerably following a challenge by Janelle Sarauw that questioned Mr. Rodriquez’s eligibility to be a senator based on residency issues.

The saga unfolded over several months, with various victories being handed to both the Rodriquez and Sarauw camps. But the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday handed a major victory to Mr. Rodriquez, when it said that only the 32nd Legislature can determine Mr. Rodriquez’s fate.

“With this ruling, the 32nd Legislature should fulfill its statutory obligation to judge Rodriquez’s qualifications for membership in the Legislature,” the appellate court said.

The V.I. Democratic Party, pleased with the outcome of the case, used the opportunity to make its stance on the matter clear. “We have always held to the position that the matter was under the jurisdiction and authority of the Legislature. The appellate court has clearly affirmed this,” reads the release. “We are again calling on the entire 32nd legislature, and in particular on the Democratic leadership, to immediately administer the oath of office to Senator-elect Kevin Rodriguez.”

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