Chief Justice to hold first hearing of case seeking to block declaration of recount results
Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George will Wednesday at 10 a.m. hold a first hearing in the case filed in the High Court seeking to block a declaration of the results of the national vote recount.
The political parties which contested the elections are all expected to turn up in Court to get the Chief Justice to throw out the case because it flies in the face of very clear directions already set out by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
The case was filed in the High Court just before the 2 p.m. deadline by which the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield, was slated to comply with a directive he has been given to produce a report based on the results of the national vote recount.
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) had last Wednesday ruled very clearly that the results from the national vote recount cannot be set aside and must be used to declare the winner of the March 02 elections.
“Unless and until an election court decides otherwise, the votes already counted by the recount process as valid votes are incapable of being declared invalid by any person or authority,” Justice Adrian Saunders, President of the Court, said in a ruling.
The Court then said what should happen when it stated: “It is for GECOM to ensure the CEO submits a report in accordance with its direction of June 16 in order to proceed along the path directed by the laws of Guyana.”
That June 16 direction, which has now been given twice, is for the Chief Elections Officer to prepare a report based on the results of the recount.
Justice Claudette Singh, Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) had on Monday set aside all declarations made before the national vote recount started. It means the only valid figures on record are those from the recount.
Accordingly, the chair instructed Lowenfield for the third time to submit a report which will be used to declare the results.
However, someone named Misenga Jones, in an application filed by attorney Mayo Robertson, has moved to the court seeking a declaration that that the chair and the Commission have not complied with the constitutionally stated process as outlined in Article 177(2)(b) of the Constitution.
That part of the Constitution says the party with more votes wins the elections and that the chair of the GECOM will declare the results based on the advice of the Chief Elections Officer.
The applicant seeks to have the chair has failed to declare the results of the elections in accordance with the advice given by Lowenfield. In the two reports he submitted so far, Lowenfield acted unlawfully, the CCJ found, by dumping 115,000 votes.
The CCJ also said the only results that are valid at this time are those from the recount. But in his second report, Lowenfield did not use those recount figures and instead used figures which included the exact figures from a March 13 declaration in District Four that was largely dismissed as being fraudulent.
Jones is contending that GECOM has no authority to declare any person as President except in accordance with the advice of the Chief Election Officer tended in his report pursuant to Section 96(1) of the Representation Act.