Elections Fraud Trial: Nandlall says Gov’t ‘critical but respectful’ of judiciary


The high-profile elections fraud trial is inching forward with the High Court set to hear a constitutional motion on Wednesday but Attorney General Anil Nandlall maintains that the government is disappointed with the slow pace of trial.

“I believe, and I reiterate, that this case is unduly delayed and every opportunity that presents itself for the case to be delayed, that opportunity is acted upon,” Nandlall lamented during his weekly ‘Issues in the News’ broadcast on Tuesday night.

The constitutional motion that should be heard today in the High Court involves a request from defence attorney Nigel Hughes for copies of the minutes of meetings held by the Guyana Elections Commission – leading up to, during and after the March 02, 2020 elections – and documentation of all decisions taken.

Hughes argued that this would help him advance his clients’ claim that they conducted themselves professionally and executed decisions taken at the level of the Commission.

Special Prosecutor Darshan Ramdhani, KC, who is leading the state’s evidence in the case argued that Section 142 of the Representation of the People’s Act prohibits the disclosure of the documents. But up against arguments from Hughes that the prohibition is unconstitutional and robs his clients of a fair hearing, Magistrate Lerone Daly referred the matter to the High Court.

In light of this hearing, the substantive trial has been delayed to next month.

Nandlall expressed his dismay at the continued delays. And he said that he has been accused of interfering with the work of the judiciary but affirmed that there is no such interference.

“We cannot interfere with the judiciary, it is an independent arm. We can be critical but we have to be respectful. We can’t ascribe any ulterior motive, or sinister motive and it is not my intention to do that,” Nandlall said on Tuesday night.

What’s the case?

Former APNU+AFC government minister, Volda Lawrence; former GECOM Returning Officer for District Four, Clairmont Mingo; former GECOM Deputy Chief Election Officer, Roxanne Myers; APNU+AFC’s Chief Scrutineer, Carol Smith Joseph and former GECOM Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield are among those accused of fraud in the 2020 General and Regional Elections.

Other GECOM staff facing charges are Sheffern February, Enrique Livan, Denise Bobb-Cummings and Michelle Miller, for allegedly defrauding the electors of Guyana by declaring a false account of votes for the 2020 General and Regional Elections.

It is alleged that the defendants inflated or facilitated the inflation of results for Region Four, the country’s largest voting district, to give the APNU+AFC coalition a majority win at the polls when, in fact, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) had won by 15,000 votes.

A lengthy recount of the votes eventually declared victory in favour of the PPP/C, and Dr. Irfaan Ali was sworn in as the President of Guyana.

Nandlall emphasised that the government isn’t asking the court for its “desired outcome.” According to him, the government just wants the trial into the case of “national importance” to move forward.

1 Comment
  1. Matthew says

    What nonsense……there was no apparent malfeasance before the election except for the appointment of the Chairman and possibly his hiring criteria for other staff. The issue came when it was realized that the incumbents lost.

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