APNU/AFC will be required to produce SoPs upon request during hearing of petitions

(INEWS) Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George has indicated that parties are allowed to make applications for electoral documents to be produced during the hearing of the election petitions filed by the APNU/AFC.

Justice George pointed out that Section 19 of Chapter 1:04 of the National Assembly (Validity of Elections) Act provides for the documents and papers to be inspected or produced upon an order of court for the purpose of an election petition.

“The provisions say that a Party would have to apply with supporting evidence to satisfy the court if such inspection or production is required for the purposes of the election petition… I do not consider that another party can object to an application for the production of election documents or papers, or to inspect election documents and papers,” the Chief Justice stated.

However, she noted that her preliminary view is subjected to be contested by the parties named in the case.

Notwithstanding, this would mean that the APNU/AFC can be mandated to finally reveal its Statements of Poll (SoPs) from the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections – which it has been hiding from the public despite claiming victory based on those very electoral documents.

The SoPs contain the votes tabulated at each of the 2339 polling stations at the close of polls; and, when tabulated, would indicate the winner.

However, a National Recount exercise conducted revealed that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) in fact won the elections by securing 233,336 votes, which is some 15,416 more than the 217,920 votes obtained by the then caretaker APNU/AFC.

But the APNU/AFC says the SOPs do not form part of its petitions.

The Chief Justice, during the case management conference on Thursday, raised several preliminary issues with the petitions.

Dates have been set to address those matters before the court makes a decision on how to proceed with the substantive petitions.


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