Declarations of the Returning Officers have been set aside – Chief Justice rules

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Chief Justice (Ag) Roxane George, SC

Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George has ruled that the declarations made by the ten Returning Officers have been side aside and overtaken by the recount results.

She said: “the declarations of the Returning Officers…have been overtaken by events whereby GECOM, in its wisdom, considered that there were difficulties that had to be addressed in order to produce, what is termed in Order 60, as a credible count”.

She made it clear that the ten declarations cannot be resurrected.

The CJ has already determined that Section 22 of the Elections Laws (Amendment) Act is constitutional as determined by a ruling of the Court of Appeal, effectively determining that it was lawful enact Order 60 of 2020, i.e. the recount order.

Further, the CJ ruled that the recount results arising out of Order 60 are valid as already decided by Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is seeking to make a declaration of the March 2 polls based on the certified recount results which shows that the PPP/C won the elections with 233,336 votes.

But the APNU/AFC Coalition is contending that the recount results are not valid. In fact, Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield has refused, on numerous occasions, to submit his final elections report using the recount figures – in direct defiance of instructions given to him by Chairwoman Justice Claudette Singh.