Elections Declarations Case…
– Jones, Attorneys undecided on approach to CCJ
Attorney- at- law, Mayo Robertson has said that there has been no decision on whether his client, Misenga Jones will approach the Caribbean Court of Justice to challenge the decision of the Appeal Court to toss out the case filed to block the elections declarations, 24 hours after the stay of judgment granted by the Appeal Court expired yesterday.
The stay was granted on Thursday following a dramatic exchange after the unanimous decision by Justices of the Court of Appeal to throw out Jones’ appeal. Jones, a counting agent for the A Partnership for National Unity +Alliance For Chang (APNU+AFC) wanted the Court to deem as invalid the figures derived from the recount which show a victory for the People Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) over the incumbent APNU+AFC by over 15 ,000 votes. However the Court of Appeal tossed out her case citing, among other things, an endorsement of the recount data by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – Guyana‘s Apex Court.
Following the ruling, one of Jones’ lawyer Roysdale Forde, asked that the Court stay its judgment for three days. He hinted that a possibility of a next stage of litigation at the CCJ. However, his application was widely opposed by several other legal teams engaged in the matter. In his plea for a stay, Forde said that the issues are of national importance and pointed to a stay being granted by the Court in the case of Eslyn David vs. GECOM. Several respondents responded in opposition, however, arguing, among other things, that the further litigation would be abusive.
Attorney-at-law Anil Nandlall, responding for the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), said that there was nothing to stay as no orders were granted. He said that some sort of an order was made in David’s case and that the effect of that was stayed at the time.
“Here,” Nandlall said, “the appeal filed by the appellant has been dismissed.”
President of the Court, Justice Dawn Gregory asked that attorney for the Chair of GECOM, Kim Kyte-Thomas, respond, as the Court’s judgment had placed the matter of the elections declaration squarely back into the hands of GECOM.
“I fully endorse what Mr. Nandlall has said to the Court,” Kyte-Thomas said. “Your Honour, nothing has been granted, there is nothing to be stayed. All that has happened is a dismissal of a frivolous and vexatious appeal. And that is our position. The work of GECOM must be completed, your Honours. If we continue like this, when will we have election results? 2025? This is untenable… We are objecting to the application, your honour.”
Attorney for the 12th respondent, Sanjeev Datadin, also endorsed Nandlall’s argument. Datadin then pointed out that under the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Act, “an appeal that will go to the CCJ requires leave or special leave under Sections 6, 7 and 8.”
The lawyer said, “We don’t know whether that will in fact come into being. There has been no application filed, and in any event, if Mr. Forde would like to receive the benefit of any interim orders, as was the case in David, you have to file your application and the approach should in fact be made to that Court [the CCJ], not to this Court.”
He submitted that Forde’s request could not be granted. After further exchanges between the lawyers in the matter, the Court decided to grant a stay of 24 hours instead of three days as initially applied for by Forde.
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