Court dismisses criminal charges against GECOM Chairman, three commissioners
-magistrate calls proceedings 'abuse' of process
March 15 2019
Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan this morning dismissed private criminal charges filed against the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the three government-nominated commissioners, saying that they amounted to an abuse of the court process and had no merit.
The GECOM Chairman, retired judge James Patterson, and government-nominated commissioner Desmond Trotman were present at the city magistrates’ courts, where the decision was made. Government-nominated commissioners Vincent Alexander and Charles Corbin were not present as they were not served with summons to attend.
Opposition PPP/C supporters are currently protesting outside of the court complex.
Private citizen Marcel Gaskin filed the criminal complaint against the Chairman and the three commissioners, accusing them of “conspiracy to breach the constitution contrary to the common law.”
The complaint alleged that during the period December 22nd, 2018 to March 9th, 2019 the defendants conspired to breach Article 106 of the Constitution of Guyana which provided for the holding of General Elections in Guyana within three months from the 21st December 2018
The city courts complex
Based on the successful December 21st, 2018 vote on a motion of no-confidence against government, new general and regional elections are constitutionally due by March 21st.
President David Granger has, however, noted that he will be guided by GECOM as to its readiness to hold a “credible” election.
GECOM in turn has informed the President that it cannot hold elections by March 21st and does not have the funds to conduct polls.