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Guyana: Appellate Court nixes CARICOM-led recount proposal

ANY agreement that usurps the powers of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to supervise elections in Guyana is unconstitutional, the Court of Appeal ruled on Sunday.

The ruling had to do with its allowing, in part, an appeal against the Full Court’s decision that the Court had no jurisdiction to hear the case brought by Ulita Moore, challenging the decision of GECOM to conduct a national recount under the supervision of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

“Any arrangement or agreement to relinquish supervision of any aspect of the elections whether the recount or any other aspect – any arrangement to relinquish that supervision and authority – would be an unlawful arrangement. GECOM must at all times remain the body constitutionally mandated to supervise [elections],” Justice of Appeal Dawn Gregory said as she handed down the ruling on Sunday in the Court of Appeal.

Before addressing the substantive issue of jurisdiction, the Court of Appeal granted Moore leave to appeal the Full Court’s decision. The decisions were handed down by Justices of Appeal Dawn Gregory and Rishi Persaud, and High Court Judge Brassington Reynolds, in an appeal brought by Moore after the Full Court overturned an earlier decision that the High Court did have jurisdiction in the matter. That decision had been made by High Court Judge, Justice Franklin Holder.

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