Guyana Court of Appeal to hear motion seeking to stop release of election results

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — The Court of Appeal will meet this weekend to hear arguments by lawyers in the matter in which a private citizen is seeking a series of orders to stop the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from moving ahead with the declaration of the results from the disputed March 2 regional and general elections.

Eslyn David is also seeking to prevent Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield from providing a report, as requested by the GECOM chairperson, retired justice Claudette Singh, that could pave the way for the official announcement of the election results.

The main Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) said that it won the elections based on the national recount of votes that ended on June 9. But the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has said that the polls were filled with irregularities and anomalies and wants it annulled.

On Friday, the Court of Appeal, comprising Justices Dawn Gregory Barnes, Rishi Persaud and Brassington Reynold, was engaged in the case management and today lawyers will be given 30 minutes to make their oral submissions. However, it is expected that they will all file affidavits in response.

David, who is represented by attorney Mayo Robertson, has named Lowenfield, Singh, GECOM and the Attorney General Basil Williams as respondents.

David has mounted her challenge before the appellate court pursuant to Article 177 (4) of the constitution, which says that court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question as to the validity of an election of a president in so far as that question depends upon the qualification of any person for election or the interpretation of the constitution, and any decision of that court.

On Thursday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said the legal move was a “disguised” elections petition.

“Our position is that the Court of Appeal has no jurisdiction on this matter. This is a disguised elections petition…We hope this matter would be thrown out in the interest of moving forward,” he told reporters.

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