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…Coalition expects Court ruling that election declaration was illegal, null, void within 6-8 months
The APNU+AFC stated on Thursday that it is eager for the hearing into its Elections Petitions to begin as this will provide the party the opportunity to present its case as to why the 2020 General and Regional Election was flawed.
The party holds the belief that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government was not legally elected into office based on Guyana’s Constitution, the Representation of the People Act (ROPA), the National Assembly (Validity of Elections) Act, the Elections Laws (Amendment) Act and the National Recount Order No. 60 of 2020.
It has therefore filed two petitions challenging the elections, one based primarily on the law and the other based primarily on evidence gathered during the elections and the recount such as observation reports. The Case Management for the Election Petitions will come up on October 22, 2020. One of the lawyers involved, Roysdale Forde, said that he expects that the petitions should be heard within 6-8 months. The Party said on Thursday that it is confident that the petitions will succeed.
“The APNU+AFC Coalition maintains that the Elections Petitions are meritorious as they seek the determination of important and contentious issues, which singularly and collectively led to the perpetuation of massive fraud which benefitted the PPP and led to the installation of the illegitimate regime… we expect the Court to determine and declare that the Elections were not held in conformity with the law in relation to Elections and that the Elections were unconstitutional, null, void and of no legal effect,” the APNU+AFC stated.
It reemphasized some of its arguments which include the accusation that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) proceeded on an illegal course to engage in a recount. The party pointed out that 10 declarations had already been made with regards to the March 2, 2020 elections and its was Justice Franklyn Holder, in the matter of Jagdeo and Hollidar v. The Returning Officer of District 4, that had decided that the Electoral Returns and/or Declarations of Returning Officers could only be set aside by an Election Petition.
However, the APNU+AFC said that the Commission went ahead with and completed a national recount which saw the GECOM Chair, Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh, setting aside the Electoral Returns and Declarations of Returning Officers which the Court itself had stated could only have been done by an Election Petition.
The Party also contends that the Recount process was initiated under Section 22 of the Election Laws (Amendment) Act No. 15 of 2020 which was unconstitutional, as it violates the Separation of Powers and impermissibly usurps the Legislative powers of Parliament.
“None of the documents, (inclusive of the Statements of Recount, Certificates of Recount, and the Certificates of District Tabulation) used in the Recount process were Gazetted, and are not required or permitted by the Representation of the People Act to be used for the Declaration of the results of the Elections under Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act,” the Opposition party highlighted.
It expects the Court to determine and declare that the Chief Election Officer (CEO) is not entitled to base his Report required by Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act on data generated from the Recount purported to be carried out under Order No. 60 of 2020.
It also expects the Court to declare that the Election Report based on Certificates of District Tabulation from the National Recount is illegal, null and void; and that the Declaration of the President by the GECOM Chair, based on the Election Report, which was premised on Certificates of District Tabulation from the National Recount is illegal, null, and void as these documents were fabricated to facilitate the unconstitutional Recount.
Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon has stated that when the time comes for the matters to be settled in the Court, all eyes will rest on the judiciary and justice must prevail. He cautioned that Guyanese will not accept a ruling that is contrary to law and the Coalition is confident that, if the Court abides by the law, the petitions will be successful.