Attorney General Anil Nandlall says that he is happy that the Opposition APNU/AFC has an election petition challenging the results of the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
While he believes that the petition will not be successful, Nandlall said that it will, however, create the platform to highlight the actions taken by the coalition in its attempts to rig the elections.
Speaking during a televised programme on the state-owned NCN, Nandlall pointed out that the election petition filed by the APNU/AFC is bound to fail since it is based on their unsubstantiated claims of voters fraud.
“I am happy that they have brought the petition because they give us another opportunity to get certain members of staff of GECOM in a witness box and get some of their members – like Volda Lawrence, for example, to come and tell us under oath and under cross examination how her signature is on a declaration made by [Returning Officer Clairmont] Mingo. All of that information and how that spreadsheet, from whence did it come, that Mingo used as his basis of the declaration…So I am happy that the matter is now before the court. That’s where we wanted it all the time but by the proper process,” he explained.
“All that which they were avoiding and that which their agents are hiding at GECOM – all that will come out now in the court and for that reason, I am very happy that they are now in a court where orders will be made.”
One of those orders Nandlall contended will have to be for the release of the Statements of Poll that emanated from the initial vote count following the March 2 polls.
The APNU/AFC Coalition filed its election petition in the High Court on Monday to challenge the elections well as the national recount exercise.
However, while the petition documents evidence of the party’s claims of voters’ irregularities, they did not include the SoPs, which they have been refusing to release for months.
According to Nandlall, a large part of winning any case in court is to prove you have just cause.
“In law and in litigation, like everything else, your credibility matters…a large part of winning court is at least persuading the court that you are sincere, that you have a real, just cause, that your case is based upon good faith, that you have a genuine loss that you have suffer and you have to create that impression. To do so, you can’t approach the court with unclean hands. You can’t approach the court and withhold material information; you are enjoined to make a full and frank disclosure of all the facts – even those that are against you and that is how you win the court over without even uttering an word,” Nandlall posited.
“Now the basis of any election is the Statements of Poll. Now, you are going to any court to tell a judge or to ask a judge to set aside a whole election and put a government out of office – set aside that political party’s results as fraudulent, and you are not putting forward your results. You are not putting forward your case,” Nandlall contended.
“So you want this judge to throw this government out…but you are not showing why and what is your evidence that you have; and you want to go in there as the next government and you are not showing your qualification, and you’re not putting your case out?”
Nandlall, who was one of the PPP/C’s leading lawyers over the past five months during the electoral impasse, went onto say that the Coalition’s lacks moral underpinning and foundation.