GUYANA | CCJ Decision Undermines Guyana Court of Appeal says CGID

GUYANA | CCJ Decision Undermines Guyana Court of Appeal says CGID

BROOKLYN,  New York, October 19, 2022 - The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has taken issue with CCJ decision which overturned a Guyana Court of Appeal decision the late service of of a summons in relation to and elerction appeal of the March 2, 2020 elections.

Head of The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy(CGID)Rickford Burke.Head of The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy(CGID)Rickford Burke.In a statement , the GCID said: "Yesterday the majority of justices on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Guyana's Apex court, continued to rewrite the laws of Guyana with a series of decisions that deny justice to half of the Guyanese population, while siding with the PPP to exclude the Guyana Court of Appeal(COA) from hearing elections matters.

"The CCJ ruled by a majority that the decision by Guyana's Chief Justice Roxanne George to throw out Election Petition 99 on the technicality that former President David Granger, an, unessential respondent, was served late, cannot be appealed. The Guyana Court of Appeal (COA) had unanimously ruled that it had jurisdiction to hear an appeal of the decision of the Chief Justice. The PPP appealed that COA decision to the CCJ.

"The person who served Mr. Granger with the document mistakenly affixed the incorrect date on the affidavit certifying that he was served. The incorrect date fell outside of the period mandated in the law for respondents to be served.

Although the date was corrected, the Chief Justice held that the original incorrect date was the actual date of service.

"Election Petition 99 contained significant evidence of voter fraud in the March 2020 general and regional elections. The PPPChief Justice Roxanne George threw out Election Petition 99 on the technicality that former President David Granger, an, unessential respondent, was served late.Chief Justice Roxanne George threw out Election Petition 99 on the technicality that former President David Granger, an, unessential respondent, was served late. desperately worked to keep it from being heard and the courts obliged.

"The declaration by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) that the PPP won the 2020 elections was based on fraudulent, invalid ballots. A CCJ decision directed GECOM to count all ballots, including alleged invalid ballots. That decision gave the PPP the victory.

"CGID is gravely concerned that decisions of the CCJ have significantly eroded the jurisdiction of the COA on elections disputes and usurped the legislative powers of Parliament to change the Guyana constitution and regime of elections laws.

"CCJ decisions have supplanted the jurisdiction of the COA, at the behest of the PPP which has attacked the majority African Guyanese justices of the COA. Recently the Attorney General said the government intended to pass legislation to increase the number of Justices on the COA. Clearly, the intent is to pack the court with PPP supporters to dominate the Judiciary.

 Justice Yonette Cummings Edwards President of the Court of Appeals Justice Yonette Cummings Edwards President of the Court of Appeals"The CCJ decision yesterday denies 50 percent of the electorate of Guyana its day in court. This will have significant social and political consequences in an already increasingly unstable Guyana, which is dangerously heading towards PPP dictatorship.

"The CCJ is brazenly grabbing jurisdiction which the Guyana constitution does not intend for it to have, and arrogating to itself powers of a preeminent, premier policy or legislative body in the region. It is therefore no wonder that other countries have refused to join the CCJ.

"The Attorney General's release of an embargoed opinion serves to highlight the PPP's comfort with the CCJ. We fully expect the feigned outrage of the various CCJ judges will fall on deaf ears!

"It is time that Guyand removes any and all jurisdiction on elections matters from the CCJ. Foreign judges should not have the ability to hand pick governments in Guyana.

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