High Court to establish jurisdiction

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Following Tuesday’s proceedings at the High Court, Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM)’s attorney Senior Counsel Neil Boston said the matter of whether the court has jurisdiction to preside over the matter concerning the presentation of Statements of Poll (SOPs) for District Four.

Speaking to the media today, he disclosed that the commencement of the session saw Justice Franklyn Holder inquiring from Opposition lawyer, Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes about applications regarding the court’s judication to preside over the matter.

Yesterday, SC Boston explained that the opposition leader had sought to have all Statements of Poll for district four be presented; a request, the attorney said cannot stand up in court.

“There is no such thing as discovery. You cannot want to bring through the back door, something that is expressly shut out from coming through the front door in a process like this. That has to be done through an elections petition,” he told the media yesterday.

Today, SC Mendes asked Justice Franklyn Holder to find that the court cannot hear the judicial review case after the GECOM lawyer argued that the court could not order his client to produce the SOPs.

As such, written arguments from both the SC Mendes and attorney-at-law Mayo Robertson representing Ulita Moore – whose application asks to court to prevent the recount of votes cast in the General and Regional Elections – will have to be filed on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

Boston explained the matter of jurisdiction has to be addressed first before he can respond to whether the Chief Election Officer should produce SOPs.

“So, it was agreed that Mr. Mendes will file his arguments on jurisdiction by 2pm tomorrow and Ulita Moore’s lawyers will file a response by 2pm on Thursday and then we will return on Friday at 9:30 am for arguments,” he said.