The move by the Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Anil Nandlall to have one of the two petitions filed challenging the validity of the March General and Regional Elections struck out, was opposed by Mayo Robertson, at a Case Management Conference today.

The petition, (99/20-P) or Monica Thomas et anor -v- Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield et al, is based on allegations of several irregularities in the conduct of the elections including: “Widespread voter impersonation; widespread noncompliance with documentation; the flawed voters’ list; and other irregularities”.

Nandlall recently filed an application seeking to have the petition struck out, noting that the Leaders of the two main political parties, the PPP/C and the APNU+AFC were not served in accordance with the law.

Robertson, for the defendants, contended this morning that Nandlall’s application should be blue-penciled, arguing that the AG did not adhere to the Chief Justice (CJ), Roxanne George’s ruling with regards to providing submissions and not filing applications.

“The court did not grant the Attorney General to file an application, the order was specific. The AG was granted permission to file submissions, so he decided without the permission of the court, to file an application,” he said.

While the CJ agreed that Nandlall filing the application was not necessary, she was quick to note that Robertson, too, did not follow the court’s order to the tee.

“I really don’t know why the AG filed that application because it was an issue that was raised by the court – there was no need to file an application; submissions alone, could have been filed. He filed that application and I don’t know that there is any prejudice in the filing of the application per se, except that it wasn’t absolutely necessary it be filed. And I want to say this too, when I look back at the order that I made and the comments that I made at the last occasion, Mr Robertson, in particular, you are also in violation of this. I said: do not file anything that is not absolutely necessary, do not exhibit documents that are already before the court. And you, Mr Robertson, have submissions; two sets of submissions in which you have ‘exhibited affidavits that have been filed,” the CJ said.

Robertson’s argument was later deemed “untenable” by the CJ, and he subsequently apologized.

Nandlall, while admitting that he went beyond what was asked, he told the CJ that he was only seeking to help – a right afforded to him as the Attorney General.

The hearing has been adjourned for next Monday.

Petition 99/20 is one of the two filed after August 2, when a new President was sworn in. Petition 88/20 – seeks to raise inter alia, questions relating to the validity of Order 60 of 2020, referred to as the Recount Operationalisation Order.

That order was brought into effect by the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Retired) Claudette Singh, following consultations with the then President, David Granger; Leader of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Bharrat Jagdeo; and former Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Chairperson, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley. The order gave life to the National Recount process after controversy erupted over the Region Four Returning Officer (RO) Clairmont Mingo’s declaration. All the parties mentioned agreed to the process to end the political standoff.

Petition 88 also seeks to raise questions regarding the validity of Section 22 of the Elections Laws Amendment Act, which was used to bring Order 60 into effect.

Further, the petition seeks to verify the legitimacy of Elections Report, which the petitioner contends is required by the Representation of the People Act based on the information provided by the 10 Returning Officers and not from the recount process that was birthed by Order 60.



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