Chief Justice dismisses challenge to voters’ list for upcoming LGE
Citing a series of “unsubstantiated statements” and “unsupported opinions”, Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George Tuesday dismissed the Application of APNU’s Chief Scrutineer, Carol Joseph which challenged the voters’ list published by the Guyana Election Commission to be used at the upcoming Local Government Elections.
The Chief Justice said she could not find any breaches of the law when an examination of the process used to compile the voters’ list was done.
And as such, she could not determine that the electoral body failed to provide a credible list for the local government polls.
With this ruling, the elections set for June 12 can go ahead with the list published by GECOM.
In this challenge to the list, Joseph and her attorney Roysdale Forde, SC, had argued that GECOM did not follow the law for the extraction of names for the list for LGE and that utilisation of Section 5 (6) of the Election Laws (Amendment) Act was unreasonable.
Justice George believes that one good thing from the case is that it reinforces the need for Parliament to harmonize electoral laws since Joseph had argued that other laws were relied on in the past for the extraction of names for the voters’ list.
To this end, the CJ said election matters should not be addressed in a piecemeal manner.
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) had maintained that it acted lawfully in compiling the Voters’ List/Official List of Electors.
A total of 18 reliefs were sought but the CJ said she found them to be repetitive. She narrowed them down to roughly seven but even then, none could be granted.
In the other challenge to the elections before the CJ, Joseph contends that new boundaries of 37 constituencies in 19 local authority areas were illegally done.
Local Government Elections which are constitutionally due every two years, was last held in 2018.