The Court of Appeal has set the 8th February 2023 as the date when it will hear arguments in the Election Petition case challenging the High Court’s decision to uphold Order 60 – the Recount Order, which was used to facilitate the National Recount of the votes cast at the last Election.
Justice of Appeal, Rishi Persaud made the announcement this morning during a Case Management Conference (CMC), chaired by Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Yonette Cummings. Justice of Appeal Dawn Gregory also formed part of the panel.
Based on the timelines provided by the Justice of Appeal, the appellants in the case – Claudette Thorne and Heston Bostwick vs Keith Lowenfield – have up until the 28th December, 2022 to make their written submissions while the respondents are required to answer to those submissions no later than January 18, 2023.
Replies are due on January 22, 2023. The matter will come up again in the Court of Appeal on Wednesday, February 8, 2023 at 9:30hrs.
In dismissing the Election Petition Case in April 2021, the Chief Justice (ag) Justice Roxane George ruled that there was nothing unconstitutional about Section 22 of the Election Laws (Amendment) Act and or the Order 60.
It was based on the results on that recount that President Irfaan Ali was elected to Office, however, the APNU+AFC is seeking to nullify the entire Elections on the basis that the recount was illegal.
Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde and Attorneys John Jeremie, Selwyn Pieters and Mayo Robertson, are representing the appellants – Claudette Thorne and Heston Bostwick.
Thorne and Bostwick, through their attorneys, have argued that the application of Section 22 and Order 60 during the 2020 Elections conflicted with Article 177 of the Constitution. It is their position that Section 22 and Order 60 by their amplitude of power, contravened the doctrine of the Separation of Powers inherent in the Constitution.
The Guyana Elections Commission, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and former President David Granger are among the 13 respondents in the elections case.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior Counsel, Douglas Mendes, is presenting Mr Jagdeo – the fourth named respondent while Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan and Attorney Arudranauth Gossai are representing GECOM in the matter.