The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in its ruling today noted that the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, acted unlawfully when he invalidated over 115,000 votes cast in the March 2 General and Regional Elections. But Executive Member of the incumbent regime, the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), Joseph Harmon maintains the CEO acted in accordance to the rule of law.
Harmon said today: “The end of this matter in the Caribbean Court of Justice, puts the matter back to GECOM for the final decisions to be made in the declaration and swearing in of our President. As we have said all along our Constitution made provision for the actions taken by the Chief Elections Officer. We expect that GECOM in its understanding of the court’s ruling will stand firmly with the Constitution which is our Supreme law.”
Four months have already elapsed since the electorate took to the polls.
The matter, Esyln David v. Chief Elections Officer et al, which was heard in the Court of Appeal, saw the insertion of the word “valid” into the phrase “more votes cast” to mean “more valid votes” cast. The CCJ President, Adrian Saunders said today that by making this insertion, the Guyana Court of Appeal gave leeway to Lowenfield to submit a report based on figures he deemed to be “valid”.
But the CEO has no such authority. This insertion, therefore, would see the CEO exceeding the parameters already set out in the Representation of the People Act (ROPA), which constitutes an invalid vote. Voter impersonation, which Lowenfield used as the rationale for him dumping votes, is not a condition.
Lowenfield’s report shows a win for the incumbent.