Justice Persaud throws out Misenga Jones’ appeal of CJ ruling

Justice Rishi Persaud

Justice Rishi Persaud has also dismissed the appeal filed by APNU/AFC supporter Misenga Jones who is seeking to overturn a ruling of the Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George who has determined that the recount results must be used as the basis of declaring the winner of the March 2 General and Regional Elections.

Justice Persaud also ruled that the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield is duty-bound to prepare his final elections report using the recount results as directed by the GECOM Chair Justice Claudette Singh. He said there is no power for the CEO to act otherwise.

Appellate Justices Dawn Gregory and Rishi Persaud, in association with High Court Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry, are presiding over the case.

Justice Sewnarine-Beharry, who was the first to deliver her ruling in the case, dismissed Jones’ appeal, saying it is frivolous, vexatious and amounts to an abuse of the court’s process.

Jones is seeking to overturn the Chief Justice’s decision in a case she initially filed in a bid to compel the GECOM to utilise the 10 declarations by the Returning Officers as the basis for announcing the winner of the March 2 elections.

The Chief Justice has, however, dismissed Jones’s application for judicial review on ground that the issues were res judicata, which means that they have already been ventilated and pronounced upon by a competent court, and cannot be relitigated.

Justice George had reiterated that Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield is not “a lone ranger” and “cannot act on his own”; but is subjected to the direction of the Elections Commission.

Additionally, she expressly stated that the figures from the 33-day Caricom-observed National Recount should form the basis for the declaration of the results.

In the appeal filings, Jones is contending that the Chief Justice erred in law when she dismissed the case.