An election petition dismissed based on procedural irregularity cannot be appealed, and therefore, the application made to overturn that dismissal of Petition #99 is bound to fail, says Attorney General (AG) and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall.

The AG said that Article 163 of the Guyana Constitution is the provision that entails what is required for the submission and appeal of election petitions. That article says, inter alia, that the High Court has exclusive jurisdiction to determine any question regarding the qualification of any person to be elected as a member of the National Assembly. Also, it provides recourse to address whether, generally or in any particular place, an election has been lawfully conducted or the result thereof has been, or may have been affected by any unlawful act or omission.

He further argued that an appeal of a petition must entail one or more of those grounds. However, the appeal being made by the appellants does not, since it seeks to challenge a ruling of procedural impropriety that was made by the Chief Justice (ag), Roxane George on January 18, 2021.

According to him, the laws that govern election petitions are sui generis; that is, they are peculiar – “not the ordinary law of the land”. Therefore, they entail specific procedures that apply only to that component of litigation and require strict adherence. By filing an appeal that deviates from what is specified, Nandlall contends that the appellants have put themselves in an “even greater problem”.

Nandlall argues that outside of those “narrow parameters” of Article 163, “there is no other remedy”.

“You can’t do anything other than confine yourself to what is set out in the Constitution,” he said.

Nandlall, on March 19, 2021, filed a Notice of Motion seeking to strike that appeal of Petition #99. In the document seen by the Guyana Standard, Nandlall asked the Appeal Court to uphold the CJ’s ruling.

Petition#99 was initially filed in the High Court last year by Monica Thomas of Lot 58 North Street, Lodge, Georgetown, and Bernnan Joette Natasha Nurse of Lot N16-1079 Critchlow Street, Tucville, Georgetown.

This petition deals with allegations of voters’ impersonation and anomalies, which were raised by the party during the national vote recount.

Among other things, the petitioners wanted an order to declare the elections null and void as it violates the Constitution, the Representative of the People Act, and Order 60. They are also asking to nullify President Dr. Irfaan Ali’s declaration as the winner of the elections.

In her ruling, the Chief Justice noted that the documents concerning the petition were served on former President David Granger outside of the five-day statutory period. She further noted that the non-adherence to the prerequisites requiring service within the stipulated time nullified the petition.


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