The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Tuesday issued an order which effectively blocks Guyana’s Election Commission (GECOM) from using a report presented to the commission’s chairman on Tuesday, pending the hearing and determination of an appeal in relation to the country's election of the President.
On Tuesday, Guyana’s Court of Appeal ruled on the constitutional meaning of “votes cast” at the March 2 polls. The court's decision was immediately appealed to the CCJ by opposition, People's Progressive Party (PPP) general secretary Bharrat Jagdeo and PPP/C presidential candidate Irfaan Ali.
In a statement on Tuesday, the CCJ said it issued an order requiring GECOM to take no steps to prejudice the fair hearing of an application made by the presidential candidate for the opposition, People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal made an order to the effect that the words “more votes cast” should be interpreted to mean “more valid votes are cast in relation to the election held on 2nd March 2020”.
The judges of the CCJ are on Thursday expected hold a case management conference by video-conferencing with a full hearing proposed for July 1, which will also be heard using video conferencing technology because of the coronavirus pandemic.
After the Court of Appeal ruling, Guyana's Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield submitted what he claimed to be a report of the “valid and credible votes” at the March 2 polls to GECOM, showing a victory for the incumbent APNU+AFC after invalidating almost 25 per cent of the votes cast at the March 2 polls.
The CCJ said its order prohibits the declaring the results of the Guyana elections until the court issues final orders after the matter has been determined.
A full court is expected to sit on the panel. The seven judges that make up the full court are: President of the Court, Justice Adrian Saunders, and Justices Jacob Wit, Winston Anderson, Maureen Rajnauth-Lee, Denys Barrow, Andrew Burgess and Peter Jamadar.