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Home REGIONAL Developing Story: GUYANA HIGH COURT RULES RECOUNT VOTES ARE VALID; DECISION TO...

Developing Story: GUYANA HIGH COURT RULES RECOUNT VOTES ARE VALID; DECISION TO BE APPEALED

GEORGETOWN|Guyana: Chief Justice Roxanne George ruled that the Court has a supervisory jurisdiction to hear a judicial review of the powers and functions of the Chairperson and CEO of GECOM.

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She went on further to find that the contentious Order 60 which was the basis for the recount of the March 2, 2020 general elections was res judicata as the CCJ had already determined the issue and could not be open to further deliberation by a lower court. Moreover, she held that in line with the CCJ judgment, Order 60 was not invalid.

The Chief Justice has advised the applicants that the matters they seek to have addressed are better placed in an elections petition where they can challenge the myriad of issues including constitutional questions which are still extant in her opinion.

Chief among of the issues relates to whether the Chairperson can lawfully refuse to accept the recommendation of the CEO pursuant to section 96 of the Representation of the People Act. In her ruling, CJ Roxanne George maintains that the CEO cannot act on his own as ‘a lone ranger’ and that his office is not a constitutional one but a creature of GECOM.

“The only data that can be used for the declarations of the results” is the recount figures. The previous results cannot be resurrected, the parties were told.

The Chief Justice heard a court challenge filed to block the attempt by Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) retired Justice Claudette Singh to declare the winner of the March 2nd polls using the results of the national recount process.

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The applicant has informed the Court that an appeal is to be filed with the Court of Appeal and possibly with the CCJ.

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