Article 177 (4) of the Constitution remains in effect – AG Williams reiterates

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General SC., Basil Williams has reiterated that the Appellate Court’s ruling on the Eslyn David vs the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) matter is final and according to Article 177 (4) of the Constitution, that decision cannot be overturned.

During a televised interview today, the AG noted that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will be able to hear the matter filed by the Opposition PPP because of the enshrined law.

At the Court of Appeal on Monday last, Justices Brassington Reynolds and Dawn Gregory had ruled that the Court has the jurisdiction to hear the matter filed by private citizen Eslyn David pertaining to the declaration of elections results based on fraudulent votes.

Additionally, in pursuant to Article 177 (4) of the Constitution, the 2-1 majority rule interpreted “more votes cast” to mean “more valid votes cast” in keeping with the National Recount Order.

The Appellate Court said GECOM must only consider “more valid votes cast” to determine the credibility of the elections and the declaration of a president.

However, following a 3-day stay granted by the Appellate Court, on Tuesday, the PPP proceeded to the CCJ to appeal the final decision ─ a move which subsequently blocked GECOM from declaring a winner from the March 2 General and Regional Elections.

AG Williams restated Article 177 (4) (3) of the Constitution which specifically states;

“Nothing in this Act shall confer jurisdiction on the Court to hear matters in relation to any decision of the Court of Appeal which at the time of entry into force of this Act was declared to be final by any law,” he reminded.

He said while the application filed was granted by the CCJ, the Apex Court’ has to go through all legal matters put to it and then decide later, whether to hear it or not.

The Attorney General submitted, “that an Appeal cannot lie to the Caribbean Court of Justice in respect of matters determined under article 177(4) of the Constitution.”

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