Sep 24, 2015 News
Chief Justice (Ag) Ian Chang is hearing a summons, to have the recently filed Elections petition struck out. The elections petition was filed on behalf of PPP/C member, Ganga Persaud, on June 23, last. According to the document, Persaud and members of the former government are questioning the validity of the May 11 polls which declared the APNU+AFC Government winners.
Persaud named the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, and leaders of the eight political parties, which contested the last elections as respondents, in the matter.
Lowenfield’s Attorney, Roysdale Forde, has filed a summons in the High Court, requesting that the petition which seeks to challenge the outcome of the recently held General and Regional elections, be struck out.
Forde requested that the elections petition be struck out on the grounds that sections of the petition failed to disclose reasonable cause of action and are frivolous and vexatious.
Following chambers proceeding on Tuesday, Forde, told reporters that Persaud’s failure to detail certain information in the petition is the main basis of requesting a dismissal of the case.
He posited therefore that the Chief Justice has made a decision to first hear the summons of dismissal before proceeding with the other summons filed in relation to the petition.
However, Attorney -at –law, Anil Nandlall, has noted that there is no need for further and better particulars.
Nandlall is representing Persaud and the PPP/C in the matter. In the affidavit, the attorney asserted that the particulars provided in the election petition were sufficient for the respondents to ascertain the case against them. He detailed that the applicant listed 28 grounds in the petition.
In the petition, Persaud, who was appointed Election Agent of the List of Candidates for the PPP/C, claimed that the elections were “unlawfully conducted” and the result of the elections was affected or might have been affected by unlawful acts or omissions.
He underscored that the elections were not held in conformity with the Constitution of Guyana and the Representation of the People Act, Chapter 1:03.
As such, opposition essentially requested a recount of all ballot boxes for the last elections and fresh elections were also called for.
However, in a summons filed on behalf of Chief Elections Officer, last month, Attorney-at-law Roysdale Forde requested that the elections petition be struck out, on the grounds that sections of the petition failed to disclose reasonable cause of action and are frivolous and vexatious.
The summons followed a request by Attorneys representing respondents in the matter, for further and better particulars specified in paragraphs 8 subparagraphs 1- 15, of the petition.
According to the document, those paragraphs must be struck out, as they are in breach of sections 140 (2) of the Representation of the People Act Cap: 1:03.
The summons also outlined that the claims in paragraphs 8 subparagraphs 1- 15, of the petition failed to provide facts to support the claims that the elections was rigged. The PPP/C had claimed that the entire electoral process was flawed; that it contained many procedural errors and instances of fraudulent and/or suspicious actions.
“Unrest, fake statements of polls (SOPs) and multiple voting were among several causes cited when the PPP/C filed its elections petition.”
The presence of “huge mobs” at several polling stations and other strategic places, particularly in Region Four, were also cited by the party as another cause for intimidation and fear which in turn “rendered it impossible for polling and counting agents, duly appointed candidates to carry out their duties and functions properly.
Nandlall in a subsequent summons requested an order directed to the Chief Election Officer. He requested that Lowenfield produce for inspection and examination for the purpose of the Elections Petition, the parcels of all election papers and documents, including those he received from the returning officer of each electoral division under section 102 of the Representation of the People Act. .
They would include all the electoral list containing the names of the persons entitled to vote, all issued ballots, all unused ballots, all votes cast by electors, all statements of poll issued at specified polling divisions; all certificates of counting issued in respect to the votes cast at each and every polling division, and all polling books used at each and every polling station.
The matter is slated for continuation on Friday.
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