Substantive hearing of Eslyn David vs GECOM matter to commence Saturday
DPI, Guyana, Friday, June 19, 2020
The Appellate Court will on Saturday begin hearing substantive arguments in the Eslyn David vs the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) matter, which seeks to prevent the commission from declaring an elections result based on fraudulent votes.
The Court hearing opened today before Justices Brassington Reynolds, Dawn Gregory- Barnes and Rishi Persaud with case management which also saw several parties seeking permission to join the case as respondents.
They include the People’s Progressive Party’s Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali, Mark France of A New and United Guyana, Mark Kanhai of the New Movement and Lennox Shuman of the Liberty and Justice Party.
The applicant, private citizen Eslyn David is being represented by Trinidad and Tobago Attorneys Senior Counsel (SC) John Jeremy and Keith Scotland along with Attorney Mayo Robertson and Roysdale Forde.
The second respondent in the matter, the Chair of GECOM Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh is being represented in the matter by Attorney Kim-Kyte Thomas.
Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams, SC, the fourth respondent appeared via Zoom with Attorney Maxwell Edwards.
Barring some submissions of Affidavits to the court and responding parties, which are due by 6 am on Saturday, the court is set to begin hearing arguments at 11 am.
On Thursday, the GECOM’s Chair and Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield were served with a notice of motion, which blocked the CEO from submitting his final report to the commission for deliberation.
The final report was expected to guide the Commission’s Chair towards a final declaration of the results of the March 2, General and Regional Elections. However, there are grave concerns over the credibility of the votes being used for the declaration.
The Application before the court shows that GECOM has failed to act in accordance with the terms of Order No. 60 of 2020 and the amended Order of May 29, 2020, and has failed to determine a final credible count and or the credibility of the result of the General and Regional Elections.
It seeks to also restrain the CEO from complying with the direction of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission as set out in a letter dated June 16, 2020, to submit to the commission an elections report under Article 177 (2) ( b) of the Constitution of Guyana without the commission determining the final credible count and or the credibility of the General and Regional Elections.
The application is also asking that the CEO be restrained from submitting to GECOM, an elections report under Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution and Section 96 Chapter 1:03 of the Representation of the People’s Act (RPA), containing votes that are not credible within the meaning of Order No. 60 of 2020.
On Tuesday, Justice Singh instructed the CEO to prepare a report in accordance with Section 96 of the RPA and Chapter 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution, for the commission’s consideration before the declaration.
The APNU+AFC Coalition has however been steadfast in its position that only votes proven to be credible should form the basis of an official declaration of the final results of the March 2, polls.
The CEO’s report which was submitted to the commission on Saturday for its consideration detailed what he surmised to be an election that was not credible. Lowenfield said the thousands of anomalies rendered over 200,000 votes invalid. Only 40 percent of the total votes cast were reported to have been untainted.
“The CEO cannot declare anything other than valid votes and in his determination of valid votes, we will wait to see those reports of the CEO reflected in the way those votes are tallied,” the Coalition’s Co-Campaign Manager Joseph Harmon stated in a televised statement.