Opposition remains confident of victory in Guyana election petitions


Opposition remains confident of victory in Guyana election petitions

Sunday, November 22, 2020

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon remained confident Friday that the Opposition coalition will be successful in the two election petitions challenging the results of the disputed March 2 regional and general elections, even as the ruling party moves to get them struck off by the High Court.

Harmon told reporters that the preliminary hearings of the petitions are schedule for November 24-25 as well as November 30 and December 1.

“So once these preliminary matters are dealt with, and they both relate to service, we believe that the petitions will be heard and we will get fixed dates when the substantive matters will be dealt with,” Harmon said.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall has said that the ruling People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), which was declared the winner of the disputed polls in August, will be moving to have the High Court strike out the petitions on the ground that they did not comply with the timeline fixed by the law for service.

Nandlall said that one of the petitions was served late on former President David Granger, who is named as a respondent in the case and that the PPP/C is also asking the High Court to strike out the petition because it is premised on a defective affidavit filed by the coalition.

“The affidavit of service document required to be filed is defective in our view,” Nandlall said, promising to make the application to strike out the petition as well as his written submission public ahead of next Tuesday's hearing.

The Trinidad-based Senior Counsel, Douglas Mendes, who is appearing on behalf of Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo, had said on October 22 that he too will file an application on similar grounds to the summons filed. He is contending that Jagdeo, who is named as a respondent, was also not properly served the petitions.

Harmon told reporters that he is confident of victory, and despite the statements made by the other parties in the hope that the High Court would give credence to their arguments “we expect that the court will determine and declare that the elections were not held in conformity with the law in relations to elections and that the elections were unconstitutional, null, void and of no legal effect.

“Consequently, we are also expecting that the court will determine and declare that the chief elections officer is not entitled to base his report, required by Section 96 of the Representation of the People's Act, on data generated from the recount purported to have been carried out under Order 60 of 2020.”

The recount had been observed by a three-member team from the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

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