Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran has asked the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to make a final determination on the “valid” results of the March 2 General and Regional Elections so that the protracted electoral process can finally be brought to an end.
During his submissions at Wednesday’s hearing before the CCJ, Ramkarran – who is representing the three joiner parties, that is, A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) and The New Movement (TNM) – said the regional Court should not only seek to set aside the Court of Appeal’s ruling but also determine what the final valid results are.
“I respectfully seek Your Honours’ intervention to say what are the valid results of these elections. This case is about the elections and this case is about the counting of the votes; and Section 96 [of the Representation of People’s Act] and everything else points to the recount results being the valid results in this case,” he stated.
According to Ramkarran, who is also the Leader and Presidential Candidate of ANUG, unless such a final determination is made this matter would find itself before the Trinidad-based regional court again.
“There is disputation of what the valid results are and unless this court takes a position on what the valid results of the elections are…we will be here [again] very shortly – the issue will be here very shortly for this court to, once again, pronounce on the elections in Guyana,” he contended.
The Senior Counsel further pointed out to the Court that it has been four months since Guyanese went to the polls and they need this electoral process to finally come to an end.
“…this a matter of great disputation in the country at the moment. I’m not asking Your Honours to seek any information outside of the parameters of this case. This case has all the evidence before Your Honours as to the disputation. I’m merely asking Your Honours to take this material before you and bring his matter to a close once and for all. It is four months now and the people of Guyana need relief from this torment.”
The CCJ is hearing the case brought by People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali and General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo, who are challenging the jurisdiction of Guyana’s Court of Appeal, which last week ruled that “more votes” in the Recount Order means “more valid votes” in a matter that was filed by APNU/AFC supporter, Eslyn David.
The national recount showed that the PPP/C is the winner of the March 2 elections having secured 233,336 votes which is more than 15,000 votes more than its main political rival, the APNU/AFC Coalition.
However, Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield instead submitted his report with figures that he considers to be “valid”, showing the APNU/AFC in the lead with 171,825 votes while the PPP/C got 166,343 votes.
In court on Wednesday, Ramkarran argued that Section 96 of the ROPA, which Lowenfield claims he acted under in preparing his report, provides no opportunity for the CEO to make a judgement on the results of the elections.