The Opposition APNU+AFC has filed an appeal in Appeal Court challenging Chief Justice Roxanne George’s decision to throw out one of the party’s election’s petition. The Appeal was filed on Wednesday by Attorney Roysdale Forde on behalf of petitioners Monica Thomas and Brennan Joette Natasha Nurse.
They are asking the Court to set aside the CJ’s ruling citing several grounds of errors which states that the judge misdirected herself when she applied the doctrine of strict compliance with regards to the serving of affidavit on Leader of the APNU, David Granger, in a timely manner. The petitioners are also saying that the CJ erred when she did not consider the objectives of the petition.
The coalition filed two petitions challenging the results of March 2, 2020, Regional and General Elections. From that elections, the Guyana Elections Commission, GECOM, declared the PPP/C the winner of the seat of government of which the CJ nullified the second petition (99), challenging the 2020 National and Regional Elections. The nullification of the petition means it cannot be heard in the High Court.
In her ruling, the CJ found that the second respondent, David Granger, was not served in the five-day period, required in the rules for doing so. She noted that they should not have filed supplementary affidavits without the blessings of the court.
The Chief Justice affirmed that Thomas and Nurse were aware of their defaults and should have moved speedily to correct the same. However, as the five days elapsed without properly serving Granger, the CJ declared he was not lawfully served with the court documents by the Petitioners.
With this in mind, the Chief Justice ruled that Granger is a necessary and proper party in the petition, as he is the representative of the Coalition’s list.
The CJ said the contentions of the petition may also be advantageous to parties other than the APNU/AFC, which the second respondent represents, making him a necessary party.
Also, the Coalition is also seeking to have its Presidential Candidate David Granger declared the winner of the 2020 elections. CJ George-Wiltshire reminded that he should be given a chance to be heard or a chance not to oppose the petition.
In the petition that was nullified, the coalition believes that fraud was committed during the elections, rendering a large portion of the votes cast for the PPP/C invalid.
It speaks to allegations of anomalies in the elections to the extent of voter impersonation. The petitioners claim in some instances there was no oath of identity made, despite it is mandatory for persons who are not in possession of a document of identification.