GUYANA: Chief Justice dismisses APNU+AFC elections petition

April 26, 2021- Stabroek News

Chief Justice Roxanne George

Chief Justice (acting) Roxanne George today threw out a petition brought by APNU+AFC challenging the results of the March 2nd 2020 general elections.

She found that the recount order and section 22 of the election laws act did not contravene the constitution.

The petition came up on April 7th  for arguments, during which Senior Counsel John Jeremie on behalf of the petitioners advanced that Section 22 of the Election Laws Amendment Act (ELAA) by which the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) created Order 60 for the recount of votes from the March 2nd, polls was unlawful.   

His advancements were, however, met with objections from attorneys for the respondents who, in rebutting his submissions, said that the Commission was in fact empowered by the very Act, to resolve the difficulties with which it had been confronted.

Jeremie’s argument on behalf of petitioners Claudette Thorne and Heston Bostwick, was that Order 60 was “bad” in law because it was brought into force by an unlawful piece of legislation—Section 22 of the ELAA.

The Opposition had filed two petitions challenging the election results. Back in January, however, Justice George-Wiltshire dismissed the other petition after finding that the Party’s presidential candidate David Granger was not served on time.

Trinidadian attorney Douglas Mendes who represents now President Irfaan Ali and Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo; and Anthony Astaphan of Dominica, who represents the Commission had both argued that Parliament, by virtue of Section 22 delegated to GECOM, the power to make provisions as it sees fit, to resolve those difficulties for expediency.

Attorney General (AG) Anil Nandlall SC who is also a respondent, agreed with Mendes and Astaphan’s submissions that in accordance with Section 22, GECOM is empowered to resolve the difficulties with which it was confronted.

The three attorneys had advanced that Section 22 grants GECOM the authority to amend by Order several pieces of legislation so as to resolve any difficulty related to the implementation of the Elections Act.

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Comments

  • Linda  On 04/27/2021 at 10:39 am

    No surprise here.

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