By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. July 8, 2020: The Caribbean Court of Justice on Wednesday afternoon threw out a controversial Guyana Court of Appeal decision that inserted the word valid into the consideration of votes for the election of a President.
In a highly anticipated ruling, President of the Court Adrian Saunders, said that the court was unanimous in its decision that the decision of the Guyana Court of Appeal was null and void and of no effect. The Court of Appeal, in its decision, had ordered that the words are to be interpreted as meaning ‘more valid votes are cast.’
The CCJ also said that the report of the Chief Election Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield of June 23 cutting over 115,000 votes is illicit and of no effect.
The court said Lowenfield must produce his report as already directed by Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice Claudette Singh based on the results of the validated recount.
The case was filed by the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali and General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo.
Ali and Jagdeo had challenged a ruling of Guyana’s Court of Appeal in the case filed by APNU/AFC supporter, Eslyn David.
The CCJ’s ruling is seen as clearing the way for GECOM Chair to immediately move for the declaration of the recount result which shows that the main opposition Peoples Progressive Party/Civic, (PPP/C), has won the election.
Justice Saunders was scathing in his concern that the election process has gone on for too long. He said it is now left to the Guyana Elections Commission to secure the report from the CEO that it instructed on June 16th that he deliver based on the recount of votes.
He add that matters raised by counsel for Edlyn David and Joseph Harmon fall within the jurisdiction of the High Court and an election petition.
Justice Saunders said the court was not oblivious to all that has transpired in Guyana since December, 2018 – when the motion of no-confidence was passed against the APNU+AFC government and noted that four months after the March 2nd elections there has been no result and that the country has been without a Parliament for more than a year.
No one, he added, could be satisfied with this state of affairs.
“Now the law must run its course,” said Justice Saunders.
Guyanese voters went to the polls on March 2, 2020 and to date there has still been no results. Other Caribbean nations, including Suriname, St. Kitts & Nevis, Anguilla and the Dominican Republic have all held elections long after and declared their results.
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