BREAKING NEWS: PPP/C moves to CCJ to challenge Court of Appeal ruling

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The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) has filed an appeal at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) against the ruling handed down by Guyana’s Appeal Court.

PPP/C Executive Member Anil Nandlall has announced: “Appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) filed & served.”

The Court of Appeal yesterday determined that it has jurisdiction to interpret Article 177 (4) of the Constitution of Guyana which it claims, speaks to the election of a President when the interpretation of the Constitution is being invoked but the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) must determine “if more valid votes are cast” for a list.

The appeal was filed in the names of Bharrat Jagdeo and Irfaan Ali against Eslyn David, who had brought the initial case before Guyana’s Appeal Court.

Among other things, Jagdeo and Ali are seeking an interim order restraining Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield from “issuing his Report pursuant to s. 96 of the Representation of the People Act or any report in reliance on the Decision, inclusive of the modified interpretation of Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution of Guyana given by the Court of Appeal, pending the determination of this application…”

They are also seeking an order restraining GECOM from “taking any further steps to determine whether the recounted votes as tabulated by the Chief Election Officer constitutes “a final credible count” or otherwise enquiring into the validity or credibility of the tabulated votes pending the determination of this application…”

Meanwhile, in the appeal, Jagdeo and Ali are contending that the Court of Appeal “erred in law and was plainly wrong” by, among others things, “holding that it had jurisdiction to hear and determine the Notice of Motion filed by Eslyn Davis in Civil Appeal No. 41 of 2020 under Article 177(4) of the Constitution…”

They are further contending that the Court of Appeal erred by finding that GECOM “has the jurisdiction to assess, qualitatively and quantitatively, whether the tabulation of the votes as recounted and tabulated by the Chief Elections Officer constitutes “a final credible count” or otherwise enquire into the credibility of the tabulated votes arising out of the recount.”

Additionally, it was argued that the Appeal Court erred by interpreting Article 177(2)(b) by modifying the provision to include the word “valid” in circumstances where the Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction so to do.

It was highlighted in the court document that “the request for the urgent intervention of the Caribbean Court of Justice is justified and necessary in order to prevent a clear and substantial miscarriage of justice and irreparable harm that will otherwise be done to the people of Guyana and the very institution of democracy in Guyana unless special leave to appeal is granted.”