by Zena Henry
The People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) is highly optimistic that the election petition,which affords them the chance to challenge the validity of the 2015 General and Regional election that party believes it was cheated out of, will be filed tomorrow Thursday June 25.
The announcement comes on the heels of a motion being granted by the High Court, where an ex-parte application for leave to file an election petition was presented.
Former Attorney General and Legal Minister Anil Nandlall told a press briefing at the party headquarters today Wednesday June 24 that the petition will be filed soon and within the legal deadline. He told Demerara Waves that the petition could be laid in court as early as Thursday and will outline all the inconsistencies and shortcomings noticed during the election process.
The National Assembly (Validity of Elections) Act, Section 5 demands that the petition be presented “within twenty-eight (28) days after the results of the election out of which the matter in question on the petition arose are published in the Gazette…”
The official elections result was gazetted along with the official list of government parliamentary representatives on June 6 last. This would mean that the PPP has until early July to present their petition.
The petition will be laid in court and served on the relevant representatives of the government and the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) before a date will then be set for a hearing, Nandlall explained. He also suggested that the court hearing may not take a long time to be determined. He said should things go the government’s way then fresh elections would be the next step.
The PPP is contending several inconsistencies that occurred on Election Day May 11 last. They reported that persons had voted on more than one occasion, persons without the relevant documentation were allowed to vote, there was fear and intimidation meted out to their supporters, fake Statement of Polls ended up in the GECOM machinery, votes were stolen from their party and given to the other side and, among other things, that GECOM had employed persons as Deputy Returning Officers among other positions, despite promises that these politically-aligned persons would not be there.
Nandlall said that he would be making the petition public soon so that persons could get further clarity on the party’s contention.
Thursday is expected to be the second sitting of Parliament and yhe PPP has already declared that they are boycotting that sitting too. They are adamant that they are not going to participate in activities involving a “de facto” government when they are convinced that GECOM robbed them of the election. The PPP is in opposition after 23 years of being in government. They have called for the resignation of GECOM chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally who has stated emphatically, that he will leave when he sees fit . The PPP also wants an overhaul of GECOM.