Guyana’s former ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) on Monday filed election petitions challenging the results of the disputed March 2 regional and general elections.
The coalition, through its lawyer, Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde, filed the documents on behalf of the applicants Claudette Thorne and Heston Bostwick, who wants the High Court to determine the legality of the elections and the results that led to the declaration and the allocation of seats in the National Assembly.
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) had declared the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) victorious in the polls based on the national recount of the ballots counted that was supervised by a three-member observer team from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The coalition, which has named several respondents, including Chief Elections Office, Keith Lowenfield, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo as well as representatives of several political parties that contested the elections, wants the High Court to cancel the polls and order fresh elections within 90 days
The applicants have also named former president David Granger, as a respondent to the petitions where they are also asking for a quick and expedited hearing.
“We are set out here today to establish the invalidity of the declaration… we have documented anomalies in all 10 regions…If these anomalies and irregularities are taken into consideration we will prove that the results will be different,” Granger later told reporters.
“The APNU+AFC coalition does not accept the validity of the (election) report which was presented. We have compiled a dossier of anomalies and irregularities and APNU+AFC coalition is convinced that if due consideration is given those anomalies and irregularities, it will be shown that the declaration which was issued, on the 2nd August 2020 is incorrect and invalid,” he added.
He said the filing of the petitions addresses several issues including the validity of the electoral process and the declaration.
APNU general secretary and the person tipped to be the Leader of the Opposition in the 65-member National Assembly, Joseph Harmon told reporters that the evidence that has been presented in the petition covers many of the issues and concerns that came to light during the national recount of votes.
“The evidence from the recount which found its way into the report of the Chief Election Officer, in all ten electoral districts, in particular District Four on the lower East Coast where you had 49 boxes with over 11,000 ballots stuffed into those boxes without any other statutory document, I don’t know what more you need to show that the elections were fraudulent and that was only one incident, there were several others”, Harmon said.”.
“The evidence is overwhelming that these elections were rigged and the PPP, the beneficiary of the rigging is a fraudulent regime… the petition filed today will prove this in the court and they will have no option but to vitiate the elections,” Harmon added.
Apart from Forde, the other lawyers representing the two applicants include former Trinidad and Tobago attorney general Senior Counsel John Jeremie, Raphael Trotman, who is also the AFC chairman and Olayne Joseph.
“As we have said repeatedly the elections was not decided on Statements of Poll; it was decided on the recount and if we are challenging the results of the elections it must be on the basis of the recount and those documents,” Forde said.