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A group of Lindeners on Thursday demanded that the two Election Petitions filed in the High Court by the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance Force Change (APNU+AFC) be heard expeditiously.
The Lindeners picketed the Guyana Election Commission’s (GECOM) Mackenzie office, calling for the two petitions to be heard on neutral grounds free of political intervention. Several of the placards held by those picketing read “don’t mix politics with law” and “hear our case now”.
Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George held a virtual Case Management Conference on Thursday afternoon and has set November 24 to hear legal arguments on whether the Elections Petitions filed by the filed by the APNU+AFC could be nullified based on a technicality.
Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Jermaine Figueira, who organized the picketing exercise said Lindeners are demanding an expeditious hearing of the two petitions.
“I believe if the Court allows the case to be heard without political interference or outside influences, it will be to the benefit of the Coalition and the election will be nullified and this will ultimately lead to fresh elections,” Figueira said.
The Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice) Parliamentarian said, “The PPP [People’s Progressive Party] knows the Coalition has a winning Elections Petition and they themselves through their lawyers never challenged our submissions about the irregularities and illegalities of what took place at polling stations. Even the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission is cognizant of these irrefutable facts,” Figueira said.
The MP who participated in the recount process and said he witnessed first-hand the irregularities, said the Court is a creature of impartiality and should not shy away from its responsibilities to be fair in its adjudication of matters.
“We are ready for fresh elections but I hold the view that on the success of the Elections Petition we should consider having the Chief Justice and the Chancellor to use their constitutional powers to have an interim Government for 18 to 24 months comprising of only parties with 30 per cent of the votes, hence the Coalition and the PPP.”
Meanwhile, those who protested also called for a new Official List of Electors to emerge from House-to-House registration, new and reformed electoral laws and a new composition of the leadership of the Elections Commission.
Additionally, calls were made for the charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and forgery charges against Chairperson of the People’s National Congress (PNC) Volda Lawrence, APNU+AFC representative Carol Joseph, Region Four Returning Officer (RO), Clairmont Mingo and other staff of the Elections Commission respectively to be dropped by the police.
The accused believe that the many numerous charges laid are as a result of a directive from the PPP Government.
“This is harassment! This ain’t got nothing to do with law and order and forgery and whatever. This is just harassment. In my purview, I feel that they got to please somebody so every other week they got to march us to CID, every other week they got to bring us to the Court,” Lawrence said outside of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday after being slapped with a forgery charge.