Guyana Opposition Remains Confident of Victory in Election Petitions

Guyana’s Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon remains confident the opposition coalition will be successful in the two election petitions challenging the results of the still disputed March 2 regional and general elections—even as the ruling party moves to get them struck off by the High Court.

Harmon told reporters the preliminary hearings of the petitions are scheduled for November 30 and December 1.

“So once these preliminary matters are dealt with and they both relate to service, we believe that the petitions will be heard and we will get fixed dates when the substantive matters will be dealt with,” Harmon said.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall said the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), which was declared the winner of the disputed polls in August, will be moving to have the High Court strike down the petitions on the ground that they did not comply with the timeline fixed by the law for service.

Nandlall said one of the petitions was served late on former president David Granger, who is named as a respondent in the case and that the PPP/C is also asking the High Court to strike out the petition because it is premised on a defective affidavit filed by the coalition.

The Trinidad-based Senior Counsel, Douglas Mendes, who is appearing on behalf of Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo said on October 22 that he too will file an application on similar grounds to the summons filed. He is contending that Jagdeo, who is named as a respondent, was also not properly served the petitions.

Harmon told reporters he is confident of victory despite statements made by the other parties in the hope the High Court would give credence to their arguments. “We expect that the court will determine and declare that the elections were not held in conformity with the law in relation to elections and that the elections were unconstitutional, null, void, and of no legal effect.

“Consequently we are also expecting the court will determine and declare the Chief Elections Officer is not entitled to base his report required by Section 96 of the Representation of the People’s Act on data generated from the recount purported to have been carried out under Order 60 of 2020.”

The recount had been observed by a three-member team from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

 CMC

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