Coalition accused of using ‘delaying tactic’ to stall vote recount

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Justices Rishi Persaud, Dawn Gregory and Brassington Reynolds are expected to hand down their ruling today.

The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition on Thursday reiterated its commitment to a national recount of the votes cast in the March 2, General and Regional Elections, but its Attorney, Roysdale Forde, has approached the court for a second appeal challenging the recount.

APNU+AFC, in a statement to the media on Thursday, said the Coalition continues to maintain its stated position that any constitutionally permitted recount of votes must be of all regions, beginning at Region One and continue numerically to Region Ten, until all votes are counted.

“We have also stated that GECOM must fulfill its constitutional mandate and declare the winner of the March 2, 2020 election, and those who are dissatisfied and aggrieved thereafter should use the mechanisms established in law to seek redress.”

APNU/AFC lawyer Roysdale Forde

Additionally, the coalition, in its statement, reminded that President David Granger has already indicated his willingness to abide by the decision of GECOM.

The stated position has since been observed as a delaying tactic meant to forestall the electoral process.

Attorney-at-law Anil Nandlall gave the supposition on Thursday when APNU+AFC lawyer Roysdale Forde provided additional submissions, this time to the Court of Appeal, in another challenge to the recount by GECOM.

Forde told media operatives that “(the appeal) is part of the legal system.” The court system, he said, “recognizes further appeals.”

The Full Court had on Tuesday thrown out a case filed by APNU+AFC Candidate Ulita Moore, challenging the recount on ground that the High Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Forde has appeared for both the APNU+AFC and its Candidate, Ulita Moore.

Incidentally, a Special Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group that was convened in relation to Guyana’s political impasse on Thursday also weighed in on Guyana’s Judiciary and its role in the political impasse currently facing the country as a result of the delayed elections.

The 54-nation bloc noted that Guyana’s judiciary continues to be seized with protracted litigation on issues of national importance.

It drew reference to the passing of the December 21, 2018 no confidence motion which triggered the constitutional requirement for a General Election; to the conduct of the Region Four Returning Officer in the March 2 election; and the issue of a recount in Region Four.

“In this regard,” the Commonwealth Ministers reaffirmed the Commonwealth principle “that an independent, effective and competent legal system is integral to upholding the rule of law, engendering public confidence and dispensing justice.”