The ball is now in GECOM’s court; Full Court denies application to appeal decision throwing out recount case

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Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George and Justice Nareshwar Harnanan

The Full Court, on Tuesday, denied application for leave for the parties to appeal its ruling on the vote recount case in which it dismissed the injunctions blocking the recount of the votes cast in the March 2, General and Regional Elections.

Tuesday’s rulings by the Full Court, compromising Chief Justice Roxane George and Justice Harnanan, now paves the way for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to proceed with the recount now that all the legal hurdles have been crossed.

Earlier, the Full Court had ruled that the Court has no jurisdiction to hear the application filed by APNU/AFC Candidate Ulita Moore, who sought to block a national recount of the ballots cast during the March 02 General and Regional Elections.

The interim injunction blocking the recount process, which was secured by Moore, has since been discharged.

The Full Court took into account the fact that the Chair of GECOM, Justice Claudette Singh had given a public undertaking that the votes would be recounted to ensure that the results of the polls are credible and accepted by the various stakeholders.

Several local and international observers, as well as Governments, have denounced the declarations made by Region Four RO Clairmont Mingo as lacking credibility.

The stakeholders had, in addition to calling for a recount, warned that a new government sworn in on the basis of fraudulent results lack credibility and transparency and therefore would not be recognised by the international community; and would face severe sanctions.

Justice Singh, in her affidavit of defence against the APNU/AFC candidate, had noted the applications by several of the contesting parties for recounts were rejected by the RO for Region Four for varying reasons, but “the Commission can intervene to correct this even at this stage”.

According to the former Chief Justice, the Representation of the People Act gives the Commission two options: to either accept the Chief Elections Officer’s report or order a recount of the votes cast. As such, she contended, “It would be unlawful for the court to direct the Commission on the way forward to complete the process where these issues are still outstanding.”