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GUYANA VOTES | CCJ to hear Guyana Elections dispute, Orders GECOM not to declare election results

Featured GUYANA VOTES | CCJ to hear Guyana Elections dispute, Orders GECOM not to declare election results
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago – June 23, 2020 - The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) this afternoon issued an Order requiring the Guyana Elections Commission and its officers and agents to take no step to prejudice the fair hearing of an Application made to the Court by Mohammed Irfaan Ali and Bharrat Jagdeo.

The steps prohibit, including but not limited to, declaring the results of the Guyana elections held on 2nd March 2020 until the CCJ issued final orders following the hearing and determination of the questions raised before it in the said Application.

Counsel for Ali and Jagdeo had applied to the Court today, Tuesday 23rd June 2020,  for Special Leave to appeal against a decision of the Court of Appeal of Guyana delivered on Monday 22nd  June 2020.

The CCJ has ordered that all Respondents to the Application acknowledge service of the said Application by 4:00pm on Wednesday 24th June 2020.

A Case Management Conference on the matter filed is to be held on Thursday 25th June 2020 at 3:00pm via video conference with a view to a proposed hearing on Wednesday1st July 2020 at 10:00am to determine the issues raised in the Application, also to be heard via video conference in light of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

This move by the CCJ effectively blocks GECOM from using Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield’s report that he presented Commission Chairman, Claudette Singh Tuesday afternoon.

Following upon the ruling by the Court of Appeals on Monday, Guyana’s Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield submitted his Elections Report on Tuesday. It showed that a tally of all the valid votes cast on March 2, 2020 revealed that A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) had won the 2020 General and Regional Elections.

The Commission has not yet met to consider that report which the PPP describes as “fraudulent” and puts the APNU+AFC in a one-seat majority.

The Guyana Court of Appeal ruled by a majority of 2-1 that “more votes cast” means “more valid votes cast” and that this should be read together with the gazetted recount order and its amended order that both refer to the determination of  “credible” elections by considering the reconciliation of votes with voters’ lists, counterfoils and stubs as well as the presence of other statutory documents.

The Attorney General for Guyana has been maintaining that the CCJ has no jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter since the Guyana Court of Appeal is the final Court to deal with the specific issue that was taken before it.

According to Article 177 (4) of the Constitution: “The Court of Appeal shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question as to the validity of an election of a President in so far as the question depends upon the qualification of any person for election or the interpretation of this Constitution; and any decision of that Court under this paragraph shall be final.”

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Last modified onTuesday, 23 June 2020 22:00
  • Countries: Guyana
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