Guyana Court of Appeal to hear elections case
GEORGETOWN – The Court of Appeal Monday ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear an elections case regarding the election of a president and that it has interpreted that “more votes” cast should in effect be “more valid votes” as Guyana still awaits the official results of the disputed March 2 regional and general elections.
By a majority ruling of 2-1, the Court of Appeal did not grant all the remedies that the private citizen, Eslyn David, had sought in her motion and also agreed to a stay of three days on the judgement.
Both justices Brassington Reynolds and Dawn Gregory ruled that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has a responsibility to determine the final credible count based on quantitative and qualitative assessments of the observation report, in keeping with provisions of the original order and in the final paragraph of the amended order.
But in his minority ruling, Justice Rishi Persaud, ruled that the motion was “premature” and “wholly in conceived”: and that the applicant should have awaited to take the matter before the High Court, after GECOM would have announced the official election results.
Justice Persaud said the Court of Appeal is “without jurisdiction” based on Article 177 of Guyana’s constitution and that he was also unable to find any law showing that GECOM can pursue any evidential-based investigation or annul an election other than by an election petition at the High Court.
The main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) said that it won the elections based on the national recount of votes that ended on June 9. But the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has said that the polls were filled with irregularities and anomalies and wants it annulled. (CMC)