Justice Holder rules has no jurisdiction to hear case to set aside Mingo’s second declaration

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Justice Franklyn Holder on Tuesday afternoon ruled that he did not have the powers to hear a challenge against the March 13 District Four declaration by Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo.

Justice Holder ruled that the matter raised is one for an elections petition.

The ruling goes against what Chief Justice Roxane George had made on the first declaration by Mr Mingo; she had ruled that the Region Four declaration was part of the elections process and since an overall winner was not declared, the Court has the powers to hear the case and make a determination.

The Chief Justice eventually threw out the original declaration saying that Mingo had breached the country’s electoral laws when he did not tabulate the votes from District Four using Statements of Poll which parties and observers could see.

Anil Nandlall, Attorney for Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, described Justice Holder’s judgment as “strange” since it was in identical proceedings that he gave himself the power to hear and determine an application by APNU+AFC Candidate Ulita Moore.

He said the case centered on a challenge to Mingo’s declaration and not a challenge to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Senior Counsel Neil Boston, attorney for the Chief Elections Officer and Mingo, argued that since the March 13 declaration was not set aside, GECOM can go ahead and act on it, and declare the overall results.

But Nandlall said Mingo’s March 13 declaration cannot be acted upon because the full GECOM had determined that there were questions about the tabulation and had decided on a recount supervised by CARCIOM.

Moore was granted three injunctions which blocked GECOM from proceeding, but the Full Court on Tuesday morning dismissed the injunctions.

It is now left to GECOM to decide the way forward.

“It is not entirely over,” Boston declared.

Nandlall could not immediately say if he will appeal Justice Holder’s ruling because, he said, given the Full Court’s ruling, the issue now lies with GECOM and how it will move forward given the Full Court’s decision.

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