Guyana High Court throws out private citizen election application


Bharrat Jagdeo, Roxane George-Wiltshire and David Granger

GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The High Court dismissed an application on Monday as to whether  the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) would be allowed to use the recounted, valid and certified results to declare the official outcome of the disputed March 2 regional and general elections.

In a ruling lasting just over an hour, Chief Justice Roxanne George said she was bound to follow the earlier decisions of the Court of Appeal and ultimately the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

“The application is accordingly dismissed, I have been lenient in the award of costs in what I call national interest matters since I have considered them as important for the development of our jurisprudence, more especially our constitutional jurisprudence.”

She said that barring a new issue that may arise “or a claim that the judgement was improperly obtained, for example through a representation of facts or law or the perpetration of a fraud on the courts an applicant is bound by the decision on any issue that has been raised and adjudicated on previously”.

“There must be finality to judicial decisions,” she said, noting that myriad personalities cannot be permitted to engage in multiple applications regarding the same issue which has been decided and shield behind the claim that they were not a party to the previous proceedings.

“To so permit would be to waste precious judicial time and resources. In short order, this cannot be allowed,” she added.

Private citizen, Misenga Jones had sought a number of reliefs including asking the High Court to compel GECOM to use the 10 district declarations in announcing the winner of the elections.

She had named GECOM, its chairman, retired justice Claudette Singh and Attorney General Basil Williams as respondents, but several others including the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and Irfaan Ali, the presidential candidate of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), had been added to the list of respondents.

The applicants have already indicated they intend to file an appeal.