On Saturday, Attorney for the Guyana Elections Commission, GECOM, Neil Boston, asked the court to consider a request by GECOM to throw out mandatory High Court orders for it to verify Region Four results before making a declaration.
This comes on the heels of GECOM being taken to court on Thursday over the verification of district four results by the People’s Progressive Party after it was declared by Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo.
Boston contended that the court had no jurisdiction to issue the orders and they should be quashed. He said a challenge to the results could only be made through an Election Petition after the results are declared.
However, In explaining her decision that the High Court has jurisdiction,the Chief Justice said the court can exercise supervisory jurisdiction outside the election petition.
Boston, speaking with reporters outside the courtroom said he and GECOM were “disappointed” at the Chief Justice’s decision.
The orders were sought by the PPP and issued by Justice Navindra Singh on Thursday March 5, minutes after the Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo declared the results.
The Order restrains the respondents (Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield and the Guyana Elections Commission) or their agents, from releasing the election results for Region 4, "until and unless the Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, Election Distruct Number Four, in the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and/or the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield complied with and ensures the compliance of the process as set out by the provision, letter, and spirit of section 84 of the Representation of the People Act, Cap 1:03, Laws of Guyana."
Senior Counsel Boston produced a written statement by Public Relations Yolanda Ward that GECOM intends to abide by the law and procedures.
He said the Chief Elections Officer’s email to the Commission Chairman, Claudette Singh was not meant to be contemptuous of the extant court proceedings.
The Chief Justice obtained his assurance that GECOM would abide by the court’s decisions. “We’ll hold you to that Mr. Boston,” the Chief Justice told GECOM's lawyer.
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