Opposition confident of election petitions
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon remained confident that the opposition coalition would be successful in the two petitions challenging the results of the disputed March 2 regional and general elections even as the ruling party moves to get them struck off by the High Court.
Harmon told reporters on Friday that the preliminary hearings of the petitions are schedule for November 24-25 as well as November 30 and December 1.
“So once these preliminary matters are dealt with, and they both relate to service, we believe that the petitions will be heard and we will get fixed dates when the substantive matters will be dealt with,” Harmon said.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, said that the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), which was declared the winner of the disputed polls in August, will be moving to have the High Court strike out the petitions on the ground that they did not comply with the timeline fixed by the law for service.
Nandlall said that one of the petitions was served late on former president David Granger, who is named as a respondent in the case and that the PPP/C is also asking the High Court to strike out the petition because it is premised on a defective affidavit filed by the coalition.
“The affidavit of service document required to be filed is defective in our view,” Nandlall said, promising to make the application to strike out the petition as well as his written submission public ahead of next Tuesday’s hearing.
The Trinidad-based Senior Counsel, Douglas Mendes, who is appearing on behalf of Vice-President, Bharrat Jagdeo, had said on October 22 that he too will file an application on similar grounds. He is contending that Jagdeo, who is named as a respondent, was also not properly served the petitions.
Harmon told reporters that he is confident of victory and despite the statements made by the other parties “we expect that the court will determine and declare that the elections were not held in conformity with the law” and they were “unconstitutional, null, void and of no legal effect”.
“Consequently, we are also expecting that the court will determine and declare that the Chief Elections Officer is not entitled to base his report required by Section 96 of the Representation of the People’s Act on data generated from the recount purported to have been carried out under Order 60 of 2020”.
The recount was observed by a three-member team from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). (CMC)