Govt says “vindicated” by Appeal Court’s decision

DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 22, 2020

The APNU+AFC Coalition government today lauded the ruling of the Appellate Court in the Eslyn David vs the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) case, noting that the decision confirmed the Coalition’s position that the determination of a final and credible count as contemplated by Order No. 60 of 2020 requires an assessment of the credibility of votes as contemplated by the Order.

From the inception of the recount process, the government has maintained that elections cannot be arbitrary and results cannot be based on fraudulent and illegitimate votes.

“Elections with proven illegitimate and ‘defective’ votes bring into question the credibility of those votes and cannot be foisted upon the people of Guyana.

Illegitimate votes, cannot be included in the consideration of ‘valid votes’ to determine a credible outcome, ” the Coalition said in a release following the ruling.

In a 2-1 decision, Justices Brassington Reynolds and Dawn Gregory ruled that the Appeal Court does have the jurisdiction to hear the Eslyn David Application. They ruled too that GECOM can only use valid votes to declare the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections.

Opposing this position was Justice Rishi Persaud.

According to the Coalition, the words “more votes cast” in Article 177 (2) (b) of Guyana’s Constitution means, without any doubt, “more valid and credible votes cast” within the meaning of Order No. 60 of 2020 and does not mean a mere numerical tabulation of votes but an assessment of the credibility and validity of votes as contemplated by Order No. 60 of 2020.

“The recount process clearly proved that tens of thousands of votes cannot be deemed as credible or valid having been affected by instances of fraud, discrepancies and anomalies. There were numerous instances of voter impersonation (dead persons and migrated persons registered as having voted), missing ballots, unstamped ballots, missing poll books, missing oaths of identity and unsigned oaths of identity, more ballots that electors found in ballot boxes among other grave issues.”

The government says the judgment of the Court of Appeal vindicates the position of APNU+AFC Coalition which it has maintained throughout. The Coalition says it now calls on the Guyana Elections Commission to do its duty and complete its work to ensure that credible results for the March 2nd elections are declared based on the valid votes cast.

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