New twist in election saga - Legal move to prevent GECOM from declaring poll results
Hours before the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is due to receive a report from the chief election officer, Keith Lowenfield, regarding the results of the disputed March 2 regional and general elections, a case has been filed before the High Court seeking to block the move.
Misenga Jones, a private citizen, through her attorney, Mayo Robertson, wants the court to prevent GECOM from using the recounted, valid and certified results to declare the results of the election and instead compel the seven-member body to use the 10 district declarations.
She has named GECOM, its chairman, retired Justice Claudette Singh and the Attorney General Basil Williams.
She has made an application for several declarations, including that “this court has jurisdiction to hear this application on the basis of prima facie evidence that there has been noncompliance by the Guyana Elections Commission and the chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission in that they have not complied with the constitutionally stated process as outlined in Article 177(2)(b) of the constitution with regard to the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.
“A declaration that the chair of the Guyana Elections Commission has failed to act in accordance with the advice of the chief election officer as mandated by Article 177(2)(b) of the constitution of Guyana in that she has failed to declare the presidential candidate deemed to be elected as president, in accordance with the advice tended in the report by the Chief Elections Officer dated the 11th day of July 2020.”
She is also seeking a “declaration that the respondents and, in particular, the Guyana Elections Commission have no authority to declare any person as president, except in accordance with the advice of the chief election officer tended in his report, pursuant to Section 96(1) of the Representation Act” as well as a “declaration that the respondents and, in particular, the Guyana Elections Commission have no authority to declare any person as president, except in accordance with the advice of the chief election officer tended in his report pursuant to Article 177(2)(b) of the constitution of Guyana”.
Jones also wants several orders including one “restraining the Guyana Elections Commission from acting in any manner not consistent with the mandate set out in Article 177(2)(b) and Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act with respect to the advice and report of the Chief Election Officer tendered on July 11th 2020”.
She also wants an order “restraining the chief election officer from acting in any manner inconsistent with the mandate contained in Article 177(2)(b) of the constitution of Guyana and Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act in the performance of his duty to submit a report containing his advice to the Guyana Elections Commission”.
Jones also wants an order preventing Singh,”whether by herself, her servants or agents, from acting in any manner inconsistent with the provisions of Article 177(2)(b) of the constitution of Guyana as it relates to declaring a person deemed to be president”.
The move by Jones came as GECOM was due to meet later on Tuesday to receive the official results of the elections from Lowenfield, indicating which of the political parties won the poll.
In his last report, which was not accepted by Singh, Lownefield had said that the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity, had defeated the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic.