Lowenfield’s report is “mere formality”, Irfaan Ali already “deemed” President by virtue of Article 177 – Nandlall

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Attorney-at-law Anil Nandlall

Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Irfaan Ali is already “deemed” President of Guyana by virtue of Article 177 2 (b) of the Constitution following the “public national recount”, and whatever procedures that are left to be followed by the Chief Elections Officer and the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections (GECOM) are “mere formality”.

Former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs under the PPP/C administration, Anil Nandlall expressed this view during a programme on Kaieteur Radio on Thursday evening, where he argued that considering the fact that the national recount of votes cast in the March 2, polls, was conducted in a public manner, the List that got the highest number of votes is well known.

“We had a public recount so no one can be in doubt about the outcome and the party’s List that received the most number of votes…that is already a fact”.

“Whatever Lowenfield has to produce, whatever declaration has to come is mere formality,” Nandlall argued.

The former Attorney General was adamant that the report that CEO, Keith Lowenfield, is expected to prepare and present to the Commission for declaration, has to do now more with the allocation of seats, than who is the President.

“Who is the President is already determined by virtue of Article 177,” Nandlall told viewers.

GECOM Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield and Chairperson Justice (Rtd) Claudette Singh

Providing a historical background of Article 177 of the Constitution, Nandlall related that that section was introduced in 1980 when the Executive Presidency was created.

He explained that it was crafted with the intention of protecting the executive presidency in the “strongest possible manner” adding that the legal drafters had recognised that there can be “intervening moments” where one can stop, by litigation, the installation of a president once elected.

“It is against that reality now that one must read Article 177; and it “deems” Irfaan Ali is the President…the rest that ensues is merely ceremonial and formality,” he underlined.

The PPP/C has emerged the winner of March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections following the recount of votes cast in all electoral districts in the March 2 General and Regional Elections.

The process was witnessed by representatives of all the nine (9) political parties that contested the elections, observers from Caribbean Community (Caricom), the Organisation of American States (OAS) and local observers including the Private Section Commission (PSC) and American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM).

The PPP/C gained in excess of 15000 votes over its main rival – A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC).

The PPP/C IS projected to take 33 of the 65 seats in Legislative Assembly, while APNU/AFC will take 31 seats. The remaining one seat is expected to be held by the Joinder Alliance comprising the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), A New and United Guyana (ANUG) and The New Movement (TNM).