Judgment on Election Petition set for April 26

Chief Justice Roxane George on Wednesday ended oral arguments in the only election petition left standing over the APNU / AFC.

And the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Attorney General Senior Counsel Anil Nandlall, and then Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo [now Vice President] asserts that there is nothing unconstitutional about Order # 60 of 2020 and Section 22 of the Electoral Acts (Amendment) Act as argued by petitioners Claudette Thorne and Heston Bostwick.

In this regard, they have dismissed the petitioners’ argument that Order # 60, otherwise known as a recount order, is invalid, void, void, and of no effect.

Thorne and Bostwick argue that Order # 60 and Section 22 of the Electoral Acts (Amendment) Act are unconstitutional, and as such, the results of the elections that resulted in a victory for the Progressive / Civic People’s Party should be invalidated as there is a total deficit comply with the law relating to the conduct of elections.

Order # 60 was created pursuant to Section 22 of the Electoral Acts (Amendment) Act and Article 162 of the Guyana Constitution to resolve irregularities, irregularities, and irregularities emerging from the March 2020 General and Regional Elections and to determine a final credible account before declaring the results of the elections required by the Representation of the People Act and the Constitution.

GECOM, Jagdeo, and Nandlall have submitted that GECOM has the authority to issue Order # 60 under Article 162 of the Constitution.

Against this background, they argue that the petitioners have failed to present any evidence on which the results of the elections can be invalidated.

Nandlall, in his submissions to the Court, referred to case laws and underlined that Section 22 of the Electoral Acts (Amendment) Act was published because the framers of the Constitution considered Article 162 to be inadequate and needed to promote handling situations like the 1997 election debate.

The petitioners, however, argue that election results should be invalidated once there is proof of a significant departure from the electoral laws as evidence is not needed to prove that the results of the elections were affected.

According to the petitioners, the unconstitutionality of Section 22 of the Electoral Acts (Amendment) Act and Order # 60 sets out a clear departure from the democratic principles that should govern elections and declare results so that the March 2, 2020 Elections are a mock and thesis’ the ordinary Guyanese man / woman.

As such, they are asking the High Court to invigorate the election results as it was largely non-compliant with the law relating to the conduct of the elections. The Chief Justice will deliver her verdict in the case on Monday, April 26, 2021, at 11:00 am.