Judicial system exhausted with repeated litigation of same issues – Datadin
APNU/AFC attempts to block election declaration
People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) candidate and attorney-at-law, Sanjeev Datadin is of the view that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will not grant special leave to hear an appeal in the matter of Misenga Jones v GECOM et al.
Datadin made his position known when he appeared on Trinidad’s CCN TV6 on Friday morning.
He was, at the time, being interviewed about additional litigation in the Jones matter after the Court of Appeal in Guyana unanimously dismissed the APNU/AFC supporter’s application to overturn the July 20 decision of the acting Chief Justice, Roxane George, that the Recount Order (Order 60) was valid.
“In theory, an appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice exist should they choose to pursue an appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice. They have the right to do so. Whether they would get leave to appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice and whether the Caribbean Court of Justice would go back over a decision that they gave a mere two weeks and three days ago, I don’t see the Court will be willing to grant leave in these circumstances,” Datadin said.
He added that the contentious litigation over the past four months is a blatant abuse of the judicial system.
“The circumstances that we are facing here it’s the same issues being brought to the court time and again. Seven different courts – the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Caribbean Court of Justice – have pronounced over three different matters – Eslyn David, Ulita Moore and Misenga Jones have pronounced on these matters. They are exhausted,” Datadin noted.
He added that there is no need, at this time, for further litigation. However, he explained that they are cognisant of the APNU/AFC abuse of the court in an effort to further delay and obstruct the declaration of the election results. Therefore, they are anticipating an approach to the CCJ for the furthering of the stymieing plot.
On Thursday, Appellate Justices Dawn Gregory and Rishi Persaud, along with High Court Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry, unanimously dismissed Jones’ appeal and upheld Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George’s recent ruling that the National Recount exercise is valid, and that the decision taken by GECOM to use the recount figures as the basis for a final declaration of the March 2 elections’ results must be adhered to.
In this regard, Datadin echoed his party sentiments that the ruling is welcomed and the onus is now on GECOM to act swiftly and declare the winner of the elections using the figures from the National Recount. He added that the entire world is aware of what the numbers reveal since the tabulation of the results were publicly done.
He reiterated the judgement of the Court of Appeal, noting that Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield is duty-bound to comply with the direction and control of the Elections Commission, adding that he is not provided with discretionary powers as outlined by the courts.
He told the Trinidadian viewership that there is absolutely no contention that GECOM is the sole authority to declare the results of the elections.
“The Chairman of the Elections Commission by our Constitution must receive a report of the vote count from the Chief Elections Officer…everyone knew the figures (from the recount) that the PPP/C won by 15,416 votes and that is known but what has to happen in our constitutional process is that the Chief Elections Officer must take those numbers and deliver it to GECOM.”
He added that what the CEO did in the first instance is that he deleted 230,000 votes, claiming that those votes were invalid.
“The Commission directed that he must not do so, that he must bring the full numbers to them. He then deleted 115,000 votes in his report, again no explanation. His determination being that this was the only valid votes. He has no authority to delete votes and then he now gave his last report, which was the third report, he has added 14,000 votes that no one know where they came from,” he informed.
The lawyer furthered that all of Lowenfield’s fraudulently non-compliant reports show the APNU/AFC coalition winning the majority when the numbers are undisputedly in the PPP/C’s favour.
The National Recount shows that People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) won the March 2 polls with 233,336 votes cast in its favour. APNU/AFC secured 217,920 votes while the A New and United Guyana gained 2313; Change Guyana –1953; Liberty and Justice Party – 2657; People’s Republic Party – 889; The Citizenship Initiative – 680; The New Movement – 244; and the United Republican Party – 360. (G2)