Guyana Court of Appeal rules that CARICOM-supervised recount is illegal

The Guyana Court of Appeal on Sunday ruled that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) cannot farm out its responsibilities such as the management and and supervision of general elections to anyone else.

President of the Court, Justice Dawn Gregory said GECOM’s decision to act on an agreement by President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to supervise the recount was illegal. “Any agreement in which supervision is removed from GECOM will be unlawful,” she said. The Court relied on a GECOM press statement that spoke of the team’s intention to “supervise” the counting process.

The Guyana Court of Appeal, however, declined to send back the case to High Court Judge, Franklin Holder, citing the urgency and national importance of the electoral matters.

The Court of Appeal, at the request of appellant, Ulita Moore’s lawyer, Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde has agreed to receive written submissions from lawyers for both parties including Jagdeo before issuing its consequential orders.

The seven-member GECOM last week Friday reaffirmed its decision taken last month to go ahead with the national recount of all votes cast in the March 2, 2020 general elections.

Justice Gregory highlighted that GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice Claudette Singh told the High Court that the commission was entitled to take such actions to ensure fairness and impartiality.

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