ACTING Chief Justice (CJ) Roxane George, on Wednesday, dismissed the challenge filed by the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R)/A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) to block the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE).
The applicant argued that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) acted unlawfully by altering the boundaries of 37 constituencies in 19 Local Authority Areas.
The party requested that the High Court order the postponement or cancellation of the LGE, claiming that GECOM had violated Guyana’s constitution and the Local Government Act.
However, in her ruling, the Chief Justice found the party’s application to be “misleading” due to its “vague” requested orders.
The Court determined that GECOM did not act unlawfully since the decision to revert to the 2016 district boundaries, some of which were extended, for the upcoming LGE was made by the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall.
The suit was filed in the name of the opposition’s chief scrutineer Carol Smith Joseph against the Commission and its Chairperson, Justice (rtd) Claudette Singh.
Yesterday, the Chief Justice also dismissed another attempt by the APNU, this time challenging the process used to compile the List of Electors (or voters’ list) for the LGE.
In her ruling, the Chief Justice concluded that Carol Smith-Joseph’s application lacked merit as she failed to provide evidence to support her claims or the declarations she sought from the court.
The Chief Justice criticized Smith-Joseph’s affidavit and supplementary submissions for their poor quality and lack of evidence regarding their source or how they supported her allegation of flaws in the list.
According to the CJ, the documents were “extremely poor and poorly reproduced.”
“There is no credible evidence before this court of ineligible persons being listed in the Register of Voters,” she stated.
The Chief Justice found that GECOM acted lawfully in compiling the List of Voters and has a constitutional obligation to ensure that the registration of electors is conducted in accordance with the law.