Courts “made it clear votes cast should be interpreted as valid and credible votes”- Aubrey Norton
DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 22, 2020
The outcome of the Eslyn David vs GECOM case gives weight to the APNU+AF Coalition’s position that only valid votes must be used to elect a President, asserted APNU Executive member Aubrey Norton.
Norton who also served as a counting agent for the Coalition, during the recount process of the votes cast at the 2 March, 2020 General and Regional Elections said the Court of Appeal in its ruling, “made it clear that votes cast should be interpreted as valid and credible votes.”
He was at the time addressing members of the media outside of the Court where two of the three justices ruled that the court does have jurisdiction to hear the case and only valid votes must be used to elect a President.
According to Norton, it was evident that the Justices saw Order 60 of 2020 as “having force and that GECOM should have been guided by the order.”
The order states in paragraph four that the recount was to “determine a final credible count.”
“Our (APNU+AFC) position has always been that you cannot go to a recount and then treat the recount as if it had no meaning. You have to deal with the letter and spirit of the law and when one looks at that, it seemed obvious that you had to consider the observation report and that you had to separate votes that are not valid from votes that are valid, “ Norton stated.
He also posited that “they are at the point where the Chief Elections Officer has clear direction from the court. In that, the court has ruled that (1) they have jurisdiction and (2) the interpretation of votes cast must be valid votes cast. This, I believe that has paved the way for a proper declaration.”
When questioned on the Opposition’s claim that the coalition was trying to steal the elections, Norton responded by stating “the evidence is suggesting different. It is evident to all that the Peoples Progressive Party is involved in electoral fraud.”
While the opposition was the first to make the claim back in March, Norton pointed out: “how can you explain that when you find all the requisite documents in APNU+AFC strongholds and you cannot find it in theirs? The evidence suggests they were involved in illegalities and I believe the world is seeing.”
Additionally, he said that it was unfortunate that some sections of the international community arrived at a conclusion and were calling for the Opposition’s Presidential candidate to be sworn in before the facts were presented.
Norton believes that “if they keep to their word that they want a president sworn in based on the law that is credible then I think the road has been cleared for those who participated in these elections in a free and fair way to succeed and those who were involved in fraud take their place somewhere on the other side of the bench.”