Acting Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire today ruled that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) endorsed the recount of votes and that the ten old declarations from March 13 cannot be “resurrected”.
This finding was a major defeat in the latest attempt by an APNU+AFC supporter to prevent a declaration of a result from the March 2nd elections based on the recount results.
The recount had been done by agreement between President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and was observed by a CARICOM mission.
This newest in a series of cases connected to the elections was brought by Tucville resident Misenga Jones who wanted the GECOM Chairperson, Claudette Singh to be prohibited from using the results of the national recount to declare a winner.
Jones had wanted the recount process declared illegal. The CJ has ruled against this.
She said that the court cannot rule that the recount order, Order 60 is invalidated. She noted that Order 60 had already been considered in upper courts and therefore the principle of res judicata applies.
She also said that the 10 declarations that Jones had wanted to be returned to have been overtaken. This included a rigged one for District Four by Clairmont Mingo. Those declarations fraudulently showed that the election was won by APNU+AFC whereas the recount shows that the opposition PPP/C had won.
The CJ said that Chief Election Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield is not a “lone ranger” and has to come under the direction of GECOM and its Chair. She said that there can no longer be an impasse between the CEO and Chair. The CJ said that the CEO is not a constitutional officer, that status resides with the GECOM Chair.
Lowenfield has thrice defied the GECOM Chair’s instruction to deliver the recount results to the Commission.
Jones’ lawyer, Roysdale Forde has since signalled the intention to appeal the CJ’s decision to the Guyana Court of Appeal. Many of these matters have already been litigated at the Court of Appeal and would be seen as having little chance of succeeding.