Guyana Elections: PPP asks CCJ to block GECOM from declaring results before hearing appeal of “valid votes” case

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is asking the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to block the Chief Elections Officer and the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from declaring the results of the March 2, 2020 polls.

PPP General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo, in affidavit, asked the CCJ to restrain GECOM from taking any further steps to determine whether the recounted votes as tabulated by the Chief Election Officer constitutes “a final credible count”.     

He also wants the Trinidad-headquartered regional court to prevent GECOM  from otherwise enquiring into the validity or credibility of the tabulated votes pending the determination of this application and the Appeal for which special leave is sought.

Jagdeo also asked the CCJ grant any interim order it may deem fit from doing anything that  which would usurp the exclusive jurisdiction exercised by the High Court under Article 163 of the Constitution of Guyana.

The PPP is arguing that the Guyana Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction to hear a case concerning the election of a President because that person  a President has not yet been elected and the issue of the  validity thereof had accordingly not yet arisen.

That political party does not want the Chief Election Officer from issuing his Report in keeping with the Representation of the People Act or any report that relies on the decision, including the modified interpretation of Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution of Guyana given by the Court of Appeal, pending the outcome of the appeal.

Jagdeo also wants the CCJ to prevent GECOM from taking any further steps to determine whether the recounted votes as tabulated by the Chief Election Officer constitutes “a final credible count” or otherwise enquiring into the validity or credibility of the tabulated votes.

He explained that himself and PPP presidential candidate Dr. Irfaan Ali did not apply for leave to appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice by first applying to the Court of Appeal in Guyana because the matter is urgent.

“The issues raised on this appeal touch and concern the legitimacy and integrity of the electoral process in Guyana as a whole and it is crucial that they be determined on an urgent basis,” he said.

Jagdeo and Alli said if the Orders sought by Eslyn David are granted, “it will have the effect of unlawfully inflating the discretion of the Chief Elections Officer and preventing the exercise by GECOM of its specialised and independent supervisory role and will also obfuscate the jurisdiction of GECOM.”

They  said that was reason for asking for interim orders to restrain the Chief Election Officer from issuing a Report in reliance on the Decision as such Report is likely to disregard the tabulation of the Statements of Recount in favour of the adjusted calculations posited by the Chief Elections Officer in his Summary of the Observation Reports.

“The urgent intervention of the Caribbean Court of Justice is justified and necessary to prevent a clear and substantial miscarriage of justice arising out of an act of judicial overreach by the Court of Appeal.

GECOM was reportedly scheduled to meet at  11 AM on June 23, 2020 to discuss the elections.

Representing the PPP are by Mr. Douglas Mendes SC; Mr. Mohabir Anil Nandlall and Mr. Devindra Kissoon, Attorneys-at-Law.

The Attorney General Basil Williams in a statement said the ruling is final and cannot be appealed.

He said article 177(4) states that a decision of the appeal court under that article is final.

Further the CCJ Act Cap3:07 section 4 says “nothing in this act shall confer jurisdiction on the court to hear matters in relation to any decision of the Court of Appeal which at the time of entry into force of this act was declared to be final by any law.”

The AG further contends that the CCJ recognises that it only possess jurisdiction or powers conferred upon it by the agreement or by Guyana’s constitution or any law of the contracting party and it does not usurp that jurisdiction reserved by the laws of the contracting party.

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Comments

  • wic  On June 23, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    So pathetic.Can’t the country’s leaders see that while you continue to squabble as the two fabled mice over the piece of cheese, the monkey (Venezuela) will one day swoop in and take all of the cheese – the county of Essequibo? Should that occur , there will be thousands of refugees who will flee to Demerara creating problems that one reads about in other parts of the world. The politicians in Guyana, need to learn to cooperate and share and plan for that day unless, they will abandon the people and flee while hoping there is a President of the US who will send in troops and spill their blood to save your sorry asses. If one thinks there will be no cost, think again – a large part of the oil proceeds over a long period, will then be required for such help to recoup the cost to push back the invaders. If however, there is a US President who has a yellow steak down his back and has no appetite to take on Venezuela, then Guyana as we know it, will be doomed.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 24, 2020 at 9:48 am

    Couple weeks ago I wrote a letter to Guyana papers that Justice Claudette Singh should have directed GECOM’s CEO Lowenfield to prepare a final report to be used to declare the winner of the election, using the word “certified” rather than just ‘valid’ votes.
    Had she done this, the last two scams that Lowenfield is perpetuating would have been nipped in the bud.

    So, what is Lowenfield’s (serial) of scam? First he attempted to use numbers from a fictitious worksheet prepared by Region 4’s RO, Mingo, to give APNU+AFC the win. That worksheet created a storm of protest leading to a recount, witnessed by CARICOM and other world observers (ex Carter ctre who were blocked by APNU+AFC from attending) where it was “certified” that the PPPc has won.

    Despite these certified numbers, LOWENFIELD PREPARED A REPORT DISQUALIFYING 55% OR ABOUT 257,000 VOTES, MAINLY FROM PPPC AREAS, in order to give APNU+AFC the win. That report created another storm. Hence, Justice Singh direction to prepare another report, which was blocked by a request to the Appeals Court, which has recently ruled THAT ‘MORE VOTES CAST’ MEANS ‘MORE VALID VOTED CAST’.

    This is where we are now. But, hadn’t the PPPC APPROACHED THE CCJ YESTERDAY TO INVALIDATE THE APPEALS COURT’s DECISION, the elections thief, Lowenfield’s, today’s report would be allowed.

    Fortunately, the CCJ has directed that no GECOM report s/b made until a full hearing Jul 1/20.
    Yet, the rogue Lowenfield wasted no time to bring out another report today – this time not so glutton – BUT DECIDES ONLY 25% (RATHER THAN EARLIER 55%) OF VOTES ARE INVALID, NEVERTHELESS GIVING THE WIN TO APNU+AFC 33 SEATS TO PPPC 31 (contrary to the Certified Recount reversing those seat allocations)

    See Stabroek News and Kaieteur News for details.
    VNM

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 24, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    MOTTLEY BEWILDERED AT CANCELLING OF OVER 115,000 VOTES BY CEO [Lowenfield].

    CARICOM Chair, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley today slammed the “gamesmanship” surrounding the Guyana elections and expressed bewilderment that the Chief Election Officer could cancel over 115,000 votes.

    “…we must ask – on what grounds and by what form of executive fiat does the Chief Elections Officer determine that he should invalidate 1 vote, far less over 115 000 votes when the votes were already certified as valid by officers of the Guyana Elections Commission in the presence of the political parties”, she asked.

    She reiterated that every vote must count and urged the people of Guyana to remain patient.

    See Stabroek News.

    Shameless pro PNC/APNU+AFC rouge elements at GECOM. But then again the master, Granger is deemed the “Sanctimonious Gangster” by Caribbean watchers.

    VNM

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 24, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    What Ms Mottley is too young to know about, or just forgot, is that the PNC/APNU has been rigging elections since 1968. It is now part of their/ their supporters’ DNA. Rigging must be done. It is unnatural not to.
    VNM

  • Ramesh  On June 24, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    To the APNU+AFC –

    You are put on notice that this is not 1968 to 1985. Do the right thing and honourable thing and concede now. You have been defeated fairly two consecutive times: first on 21 December, 2018 in a vote of no-confidence in the Legislative Assembly and then on 2 March in the general election.

    Consequently, there are no legal grounds for you to remain in office. You must vacate the premises in respect of the will of the electorate and for the good of the Republic of Guyana.

    Ramesh.

    Uo

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