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GECOM must now move urgently to declare elections winner – Jagdeo says after Court of Appeal ruling

, Source - News Room - https://newsroom.gy/2020/07/30...rt-of-appeal-ruling/

https://newsroom.gy/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Jagdeo-1-750x430.jpgOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo [Photo: News Room]

Leader of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party Bharrat Jagdeo has welcomed Thursday’s ruling by Guyana’s Court of Appeal in which it upheld the decision of Chief Justice Roxane George that the national vote recount is valid.

In dismissing the appeal as being frivolous and vexatious, the Court of Appeal also upheld that the Chief Elections Officer, as an employee of GECOM, must do as he is told by the Commission.

“We are pleased that the decision was unanimous in this regard,” Jagdeo said during a virtual briefing moments after the judgment was handed down.

He believes that even in the face of a 24-hour stay granted by the Court of Appeal, that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) must now move ahead with declaring the winner of the elections in keeping with the recount figures.

The recount shows the PPP winning the elections by over 15,000 votes.

“We were shocked to see how the court tolerated the nonsensical arguments that were proffered to justify the stay and the court did not answer the question from Senior Counsel [Douglas] Mendes as to what precisely are you staying,” Jagdeo added.

Jagdeo said with the appeal dismissed, GECOM’s Chairman former Judge Claudette Singh is under no obligation to respect the stay granted particularly when the Court did not clarify what the stay was about.

“We don’t know what this stay is about, what they are effectively doing… I would urge the Commission and Justice Singh to act urgently, the country has waited for a very long time… it is time to move on,” the Opposition Leader said.

According to the Constitution, Justice Singh makes a declaration of the results of the elections after the Chief Elections Officer presents his advice.

But the CEO Keith Lowenfield has repeatedly refused to produce his report using the recount figures and instead invalidated hundreds of thousands of votes to hand the APNU+AFC coalition a victory.

The recount shows the coalition losing the elections by over 24, 000 votes.

Jagdeo was keen to point out that the Court of Appeal made it clear that Lowenfield must follow the direction of the Commission in preparing his report which cannot be done using declarations made before the recount.

Original Post

I am not convinced the CCJ will grant a stay. The Coalition lawyers are trying to draw an equivalency between the Eslyn David case and the Misenga Jones case. However, unlike the Eslyn David case which had a significant impact on the functioning of the country’s electoral system, the Misenga Jones case was mostly res judicata with one judge saying it was frivolous, vexatious and amounts to an abuse of the court’s process. In addition the CCJ have already ruled on a major aspect of the case which is the ability for GECOM to use the results of the recount. With these factors and the importance of having a resolution to the election the CCJ may well decline a stay.

I watched the COA proceedings. I distinctly heard Justice Dawn Gregory-Barnes say that she was granting a stay of one day to discuss the issue of costs only. Attorney Sanjeev Datadin mentioned $2Million costs to be levied on the APNU+AFC lawyers.

@Former Member posted:

I watched the COA proceedings. I distinctly heard Justice Dawn Gregory-Barnes say that she was granting a stay of one day to discuss the issue of costs only. Attorney Sanjeev Datadin mentioned $2Million costs to be levied on the APNU+AFC lawyers.

It seems that she and Persaud agreed to give Forde 24 hours stay but she couldn't explain what the stay is for. My guess is that they wanted some time and the majority court gave them 24 hours. Bissessar wanted no part of that so she went on record that she denied that request from Forde.

That said, I don't see the CCJ even accepting any further appeals from anyone pretending to be acting privately so at the conclusion the current 24 hours there will be no shelter available to the Coalition.

In reality the Coalition's time ran out since elections day but they have just been refusing to acknowledge it and in doing so have burdened Guyana and its citizens with unimaginable hardships further burdened by the global pandemic.

 How many times did I not say that the PPP won the elections by 15336 votes? Lowenfield and co-conspirators tried to jump off a mountain, and when they were halfway down, they tried to turn back. The PNC and Coalition are dead.

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