The petitioners in the election petition matter that was thrown out by the Chief Justice have moved to the Court of Appeal seeking a reversal of that decision by the Chief Justice.
Last month Chief Justice Roxanne George dismissed Petition 99, which challenged the final elections results declared by the Guyana Elections Commission on August 2, 2020 on the grounds of non-compliance of service on the second named respondent, former President, David Granger.
The petitioners, Monica Thomas and Brenan Nurse had argued that Mr. Granger was not a proper and necessary party to the petition and therefore, his late service was of little consequence to the matter.
However, in her ruling, the Chief Justice pointed out that Section 8 of the National Assembly (Validity of Elections) Act (1998) states “within the prescribed time, not exceeding five days after the presentation of an election petition, the petitioner shall in their prescribed manner serve on the respondent a notice of the presentation of the petition.”
The petitioners are now asking the Court of Appeal to overturn the Chief Justice’s ruling.
Among other things the petitioners want the Appeal Court to declare that the Chief Justice erred in law and was misdirected when she followed in the decision in the Eusi Kwayana et al v The Chief Elections Officer NO. 205 of 1986, which the petitioners believe is not a proper case for the Chief Justice to use to make her ruling. The lawyers for the petitioners also want the Court to award costs.
“The learned Chief Justice erred in law and misdirected herself when she failed to consider the overriding objective of the petition in making her decision on the content of the affidavit of service”, Lawyers for the petitioners told the Court of Appeal.
The petitioners are also contending that the Chief Justice also breached her own orders from the case management conference where parties were asked to explain errors that were found in the original affidavit.
The petitioners want the Court of Appeal to send the matter back to the High Court, where the petition should be heard and determined.
The Chief Justice has allowed the other petition, no. 88 to proceed. That petition is challenging the validity of order no.60 which paved the way for a national recount of ballots. The coalition has long contended that it is only parliament and not GECOM that has to power to make and or amend laws.