GECOM pushes back meetings to make way for Court of Appeal hearing

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has pushed back future meetings now that the Guyana Court of Appeal has set Friday to hear a case filed by private citizen whether that election management body must first decide on a “final credible count” of the votes cast at the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.

Eslyn David  is asking that the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield be prevented from submitting that report to the GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice Claudette Singh without  “determining the final credible count and or the credibility” of the polls in keeping with the national vote recount orders.

After receiving a notice of motion, Lowenfield did not submit his report.         

People’s Progressive Party (PPP) election commissioners, Attorneys-at-Law Bibi Shadick and Sase Gunraj said in the absence of the Chief Elections Officer’s report, the Commission could formally declare the results. “There are laws to do whatever has to do. We will follow the law. The nation can’t be waiting on the likes of Lowenfield and them. Are we crazy? Do we look crazy. This is country is hurting and bleeding and the likes of Lowenfield is going to stop this whole thing?,” she said.

They had hoped to return on Friday to craft the next steps for the commission to possibly make a declaration with the assistance of another statutory officer, Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Roxanne Myers.

GECOM said a commission meeting scheduled for Friday has been cancelled because the Guyana Court of Appeal is Friday afternoon at 1:30 expected to hear a case filed by David.

Thursday’s meeting did not have sufficient representatives to meet and make decisions  even without a report of the election results by the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield.

The meeting did not have a quorum because only one pro-coalition Elections Commissioner, Vincent Alexander, was present. Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman were absent.  Shadick related that “Mr Corbin says he fell ill and Mr. Trotman says he was threatened and he was trying to get security and he can’t get,” she said.

GECOM’s rules of procedure state that in order for there to be a quorum, at least two commissioners each from both sides must be present.

Spokeswoman for GECOM, Yolanda Ward said Lowenfield did not submit his report to the GECOM Chairman because he was served with a notice of motion.

“The Notice was served on the CEO before 13:00 hrs (deadline for submission of report). The Notice restraints the CEO from ‘complying with the directions of Chairperson’ and as a consequence a report was not submitted,”  Ward said.

Guyana’s constitution  states that the Court of Appeal has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question as to the validity of an election of a President insofar as that question depends upon the qualification of any person for an election or the interpretation of this  Constitution and any decision of that court under this paragraph shall be final.

President David Granger has publicly committed to accepting “any” and “whatever” declaration is made by the GECOM Chairman.

Lowenfield has indicated in an initial report to the Chairman that votes not affected by anomalies/irregularities and voter impersonation amount to  185,302 votes.  By his calculation, the PPP would get  56,627 votes and A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) will get 125,010 and the remainder going to several small parties.

This in stark contrast to the recount that shows that of the 460,352 valid votes cast, APNU+AFC got 217,920 and the PPP 233,336. The three ‘joinder’ parties- A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) and The New Movement (TNM) got a total of 5,214‬ votes, but Lowenfield’s extraction of votes not affected gives the trio a total of 1,650. LJP got no votes in Regions One and Four in the CEO’s figures.

APNU+AFC Election Agent, Joseph Harmon again stressed that the Chief Elections Officer must only use untainted votes. “We are saying that the Chief Elections Officer, given his own report to the commission and the subsequent request of the Chairman, must use only the votes that had all supporting statutory documents in the ballot boxes when they were recounted,” Harmon said.

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Comments

  • Ramesh  On June 19, 2020 at 12:51 am

    By the time all the court of appeals battles and the filibustering are over, Guyana might find out the winner of the March 2, 2020 election results by March 2, 2021. And still the loser will not concede gracefully.

    Guyana gives new meaning to the term Banana Republic.

    • Kman  On June 19, 2020 at 1:55 pm

      No they will swear in Grainger.
      I watched in dismay when Grainger was sworn in as president in 2015. The first thing he did was to swear in Harmon, if l remember the name correctly. He waited until the next day to swear in Moses. This shows the disrespect for the AFC. And yet they joined with the APNU in the 2020 elections.

      How can Grainger pick who he wants from AFC to be PM. No respect for anyone but their own.

      • Ramesh  On June 19, 2020 at 6:11 pm

        Granger was defeated by a vote of no confidence in December 2018. Under normal circumstances, the toppled government is dissolved and an election is called.

        That election was held in 2020. I cannot bring to memory an example where this has occurred in another country. It’s disturbing, to say the least. All indicators point to dictatorship. Granger simply doesn’t want the to leave office, even after a second, delayed defeat.

        Granger apparently has a direct line to Burnham’s grave.

  • guyaneseonline  On June 19, 2020 at 1:44 am

    Hearing of Notice of Motion set for Friday June 19

    The Notice of Motion served on Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield preventing him from submitting his final report to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for deliberation will be heard Friday, June 19 at 13:30 hours at the Court of Appeal.

    GECOM’s PRO Yolanda Ward updated the media today, noting that the commission’s meeting which was scheduled for that time has been postponed.

    The CEO, along with Commission’s Chair Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh was served by Court Marshals today, minutes before the CEO was expected to submit his final report to the seven-member commission at 13:00hrs.

    The final report is expected to guide the Commission’s Chair towards a final declaration of the results of the March 2, General and Regional Elections.

    Private citizen Eslyn David through Attorney Mayo Robinson, filed an injunction in the Court of Appeal today, to prevent the CEO and the Guyana Elections Commission from making a declaration of any results of the March 2 elections.

    The court application says that GECOM has failed to act in accordance with the terms of the Order No. 60 of 2020 and the amended Order dated the 29th day of May 2020 and has failed to determine a final credible count and or the credibility of the result of the General and Regional Elections.

    It seeks to also restrain the CEO from complying with the Direction of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission as set out in a letter dated the 16th day of June 2020, to submit to the GECOM an Elections Report under Article 177 (2) ( b) of the Constitution of Guyana without the commission determining the final credible count and or the credibility of the General and Regional Elections.

    The application is also asking that the CEO be restrained from submitting to GECOM, an Elections Report under Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution and Section 96 Chapter 1:03 of the Representation of the People’s Act (RPA), containing votes that are not credible within the meaning of Order No. 60 of 2020.

    On Tuesday, Justice Singh instructed the CEO to prepare a report in accordance with Section 96 of the RPA and Chapter 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution, for the commission’s consideration before the declaration.

    The APNU+AFC Coalition has however been steadfast in its belief that only votes proven to be credible should form the basis of an official declaration of the final results of the March 2, polls.

    The CEO’s report which was submitted to the commission on Saturday for its consideration detailed what he surmised to be an election that was not credible. Lowenfield said the thousands of anomalies rendered over 200,000 votes invalid. Only 40 percent of the total votes cast were reported to have been untainted.

    “The CEO cannot declare anything other than valid votes and in his determination of valid votes, we will wait to see those reports of the CEO reflected in the way those votes are tallied,” the Coalition’s Co-Campaign Manager Joseph Harmon stated in a televised statement.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 19, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    According to Ralph Ramkarran (ANUG) and Anil Nandalll (PPPc) in a video yesterday, both legal counsels see this motion by Eslyn David as utterly frivolous and wasting the Appeals court’s time.

    Furthermore, as I have held from the start even before Mingo’s fictitious worksheet numbers to give APNU+AFC the win, Nandalall sees this whole process over the last 100 days, as designed to install an APNU+AFC authoritarian gov’t.

    I am glad to see that he/they are at least late in waking-up to the obvious signs since APNU+AFC refusal to demit office after they lost the NCM vote that a dictatorship is in the making in Guyana.

    The whole world, other than them, gives the win to PPPc; and these various moves are just a series of stratagems to hold on to office.
    It is beginning to to take a violent turn as their supporters take to the streets, to enforce APNU+AFC goal.

    VNM

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 19, 2020 at 10:41 pm

    Here is the video

    VNM

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