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Appeal Court In Guyana To Hear Ruling On Recount Of Ballots Tomorrow

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, April 2, 2020 (CMC) – The Court of Appeal is scheduled to hear the case, concerning the vote recount appeal, following the March 2 election — tomorrow morning, during which, attorneys will make their oral arguments.

On Thursday, the attorneys went to court to file their submissions.

The applicant is Ulita Moore, an A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) candidate, who is appealing the Full Court’s decision, not to allow the hearing of a judicial review into the vote recount, and to also dismiss the injunctions that were blocking that recount.

Moore, through her lawyer, Roysdale Forde, told the main opposition People’s Progressive Party-Civic (PPP-C) General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo — through his lawyer, Anil Nandlall — that the opposition should allow the court system to work, instead of pushing for a recount of votes in last month’s general elections.

Court of Appeal judges, Brassington Reynolds, Dawn Gregory and Rishi Persaud, intend to listen to oral arguments, tomorrow, at 10 am, and swiftly deliver their decision, due to the urgency of the matter.

Nandlall told reporters, after the brief hearing, that the appeal before the Court is vexatious and frivolous, with an expectation to stall the work of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Nandlall said GECOM must continue with its work, arguing “They have stalled it enough, and it is time that we conclude the elections, and the rightful results be declared.”

He noted that as the appeal case is ongoing, no stay of the Full Court ruling was sought or granted and, therefore, GECOM ought to continue with the work that it has been doing, and get the recount underway.

But Senior Counsel Forde, who is representing the interest of the applicant, Ulita Moore, said GECOM ought to recognise that a case is before the Court and take note of that.

He noted that in the past, GECOM has awaited the decisions of the Court. But, in that instance, there were injunctions blocking GECOM from proceeding. There are no current injunctions against the Commission.

But Forde contends that his client has a right to appeal the Full Court’s ruling, the same way the PPP-C had a right to appeal the ruling of the High Court.

“The Court system recognises further appeal, so why is it only when they obtain a victory at the Full Court, that the process and the statement made by the Chair of the Elections Commission that she will await an outcome of the Court proceedings, how does that suddenly come to an end,” Forde said.

Earlier this week, the Full Court ruled that the High Court had no jurisdiction to hear the case against the vote recount, and therefore dismissed the injunctions that blocked the recount.

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