The Attorney representing the applicant in the case against the Guyana Elections Commission and its declaration wants the Court of Appeal to establish the issue of validity of votes.
Attorney Mayo Robertson who will argue the matter on behalf of Sophia resident, Eslyn David, told News Source this afternoon that the case is one of national importance and ought not be seen as any partisan matter.
The Attorney said ” I think all Guyanese want a fair election and there are always going to be losers and losers are usually not very happy but it is easier to deal with a loss when one understands that the rules of the game were fair and everybody played by the rules and whoever turns out to be victorious won by playing fairly by the rules. And that is what we are trying to get for all Guyanese. It is not a partisan thing, it is an issue of fairness”.
Mr. Robertson explained that he believes the Court of Appeal has full jurisdiction to hear the matter and will also address the matter in an expeditious manner. He said that was among the reasons why he took the case directly to the Court of Appeal and not one of the lower Courts.
The applicant in the matter has raised the issue of the validity of votes.
Attorney Robertson said “essentially we are getting the Court to look at all of the circumstances and say to us whether or not counting the votes simply means counting votes or counting valid votes. We believe the word ‘valid’ is important and is actually used in the Representation of the People Act, Section 96 of that Act, which vests in the Chief Elections Officer the responsibility to count votes, specifically says ‘valid votes’ and we want to make sure that the votes are valid”.
On the issue of whether the matters that his client has taken before the Courts ought to be part of an election petition after the declaration, the Attorney said he does not believe that should be the case. He said he is of the view that the electoral laws in Guyana rest responsibility at different stages of the game on different people and that also addresses the issue of the validity of votes.
Robertson said from all appearances the Elections Commission was moving to declare results that did not take into account any of the irregularities uncovered during the recount.
“We brought the case in the first place because it seems that we had reached a point where what we consider clear and convincing evidence of irregularities that were in the public domain, it appears we were heading in a direction where there was going to be an attempt to have the votes counted without extracting those votes that were tainted by irregularities”.
The Elections Commission was preparing to deal with the declaration of the results when the Chief Elections Officer was halted from presenting his report to the Commission after the Court action was filed.
The matter will be heard tomorrow.