Counsel representing the fourth-named respondent, Bharrat Jagdeo – a representative of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) – in a election petition matter, is upping pressure to have the petition thrown out.

Counsel, Douglas Mendes for the respondent, is seeking to have the petition thrown on the grounds that the second-named respondent, President David Granger – listed as a representative of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – was not served within the parameters specified in the National Assembly Validity of Elections Act.

His argument comes even as Granger, through his lawyers, sought to exclude himself from the proceedings. This move would counter the premise being used by Jagdeo’s attorney , since the question of improper service would be irrelevant if Granger is deemed to not be a proper party to the proceedings.

But Mendes, during the continuation of the Case Management Conference (CMC) today, argued that Granger is indeed a proper party to the proceedings.

He noted that Section 4 (2) of the National Assembly Validity of Elections Act sets out the conditions for what constitutes a respondent.

Section 4 (2) states inter alia: “The person hereinafter referred to as the respondent is the representative of such list of candidates for election as comprises the names of persons with whose interests arising out of the election any contention in the election petition conflicts…”

Mendes says that Granger’s lawyers must show that there is no contention in the petiton that conflicts with interests in order for them to succeed in their submission that the second respondent is not a necessary party.

Attorney General, Anil Nandlall also made oral submissions, during which, he argued that Granger activating Section 27 (2) of the Validity of Elections Act to extricate himself, is an admission that he is indeed a properly named party in the case.

Section 27 (2) states: “A respondent who has given the prescribed notice that he does not intend to oppose the petition or for whom any person has been substituted shall not be allowed to appear or act as a party against the petition in any proceedings thereon.”

So, by filing that notice to say that he is not opposing that petition, Granger has implicitly or rather, expressly accepted that he is a properly named respondent, Nandlall stated.

He added that for Granger not being part of the petiton will go against principles of Natural Justice since the APNU is the main Parliamentary Oppostion party.

The CMC will continue tomorrow at 09:30hrs.


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