Court of Appeal to hear arguments Friday in recount case

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The Court Appeal will on Friday consider the case brought before it challenging Tuesday’s Full Court ruling which dismissed the application seeking to block a national recount of votes cast on March 02.

The Court of Appeal convened on Thursday morning and gave guidelines for written submissions – which it said should be done by all parties by 06:00 hrs Friday – and determined that it would hear oral arguments from 10:00 a.m. on Friday. Those arguments would last no more than two hours and the Court will give its judgment shortly after.

Appeal court judges Justices Dawn Gregory-Barnes and Rishi Persaud are hearing the matter with High Court Judge Brassington Reynolds.

The Respondents named in the case are the Guyana Elections Commission, the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, the Chief Elections Officer, Mark France, Daniel Josh Kanhai, John Flores and Bharrat Jagdeo.

Anil Nandlall, Attorney for Jagdeo, said that with the appeal no request for injunctions or a stay of the implementation of the Full Court ruling has been made.

As such, he said there is nothing preventing the Guyana Elections Commission from moving ahead with the recount.

Ulita Moore, the candidate of the Coalition APNU+AFC, of which President David Granger is leader, moved to the Court of Appeal to try to get the court to reverse Tuesday’s Full Court decision throwing out the injunctions blocking a recount of votes cast on March 02.

The Full Court, comprising Chief Justice Roxane George and Justice Nareshwar Harnanan, had Tuesday set aside a ruling by Justice Franklyn Holder that he had jurisdiction to hear a Fixed Date Application questioning the constitutionality of a recount proposed and/or intended by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

The Full Court also set aside the Interlocutory Orders granted in the said application restraining GECOM to initiate the recount

The Full Court also refused a stay of its decision pending the hearing and determination of an Appeal to the Court of Appeal. The Full Court had even refused a request for leave to file an appeal.

But Moore, through her attorneys Roysdale Forde and Mayo Roberston, has now gone straight to the Court of Appeal to file an application for leave to file the appeal and for the said hearing of the application for leave to be treated as the appeal hearing.

After Thursday’s sitting of the Court, Forde suggested GECOM should not act unless the appeal is concluded.

Moore has been advised by her attorneys that the Full Court erred in law and in fact by finding that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear and consider the Fixed Date Application and that the Full Court also failed to construe the legislative regime governing disputes in relation to elections and failed to consider properly the relief sought by the application.

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