Chief Justice to hear arguments after DPP, Top Cop request copies of election SOPs, SORs
Commissioner of Police (ag), Nigel Hoppie and the Director of Police Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali Hack, have made an application to the High Court for copies of the Statements of Poll (SOPs) and Statements of Recount (SORs) from the 2020 general and regional elections.
The DPP and the Top Cop have posited that the documents are needed to support several ongoing court cases in the Magistrates’ Court related to electoral fraud. Chief Justice (ag), Roxane George, on Friday, said she will hear brief arguments in the case at 13:30h on May 24 after which she will set a date for ruling.
The Attorney-General Chambers, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the Registrar of the High Court have all been named as respondents in the fixed date application.
The Police Commissioner and the DPP want the Chief Justice to grant an Order, instructing the Registrar of the High Court, Sueanna Lovell, to make photocopies of the SOPs and SORs in her possession.
The Registrar is also being asked to certify that it is the true copies of the originals.
There are a total of 2, 339 SOPs and another 2, 339 SORs. It was the Chief Justice who had ordered in a January 2021 ruling that the SOPs and SORs are handed over to the Registrar of the Supreme Court.
The Chief Justice made the order to allow for the safekeeping of the documents which were expected to support arguments in an elections petition case. That petition has since been dismissed by the Chief Justice with at least one appeal filed.
Among those currently before the court are the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) of GECOM, Keith Lowenfield; his Deputy, Roxanne Myers and the Returning Officer for District Four, Clairmont Mingo.
They are joined on several charges by the Chairman of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R), Volda Lawrence and other party members. Having only served one term in office, the APNU+AFC Coalition lost the elections and claimed widespread voter fraud at the polls but refused to release their copies of the SOPs to prove its claims.
The GECOM SOPs will have to support claims that Mingo inflated his figures in favour of the coalition; it will also support allegations that the numbers included in Lowenfield’s elections report were false and intended to hand victory to the APNU+AFC.