APNU+AFC Executive Joe Harmon has expressed his disappointment with the Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss an appeal by private citizen Misenga Jones, which upholds the Chief Justice’s ruling that the votes from the recount should be used to compile the final report of the Chief Election Officer.
“While I did not expect much out of the Court of Appeal as constituted I am still disappointed that the Court did not use this opportunity at this juncture in the history of Guyana to make a judgment which was sound in law”, Harmon said.
He noted that the decision should result in citizens examining in a more meticulous way, the manner in which their justice system functions.
According to Harmon, “The APNU+AFC Coalition is committed to the rule of law and respect for decisions of our Court. We iterate that when the matter goes to GECOM that only valid votes will be counted in the final declaration made by the Chairman of GECOM. Fraudulent votes cannot be the basis for a final declaration to be made. This is our firm position’, he said.
The APNU+AFC which raised a number of concerns after several anomalies were discovered during the vote recount has been maintaining that the votes affected by those anomalies ought not to be included in the recount.
However, the GECOM Chairperson’s decision is that GECOM has no legal authority to invalidate votes and therefore such matters would have to be raised in an election petition case. The Chief Justice and the Judges in the Appeal Court all agree with the GECOM Chairperson’s position.