Ali sets up kangaroo court to probe elections

Despite the clear statute in the Guyana Constitution which makes the High Court the sole authority to probe elections, Irfaan Ali has proceeded to establish a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to probe the 2020 elections.

Article 163 (1)(a)(i) states that:

“… the High Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine any question… either generally or in any particular place, an election has been lawfully conducted or the result thereof has been, or may have been, affected by any unlawful act of omission.”

Legal experts, who are extremely familiar with elections petitions, have informed this publication that the recently established COI contravenes the Constitution. They have argued that such a commission cannot clothe itself with judicial authority and seek to cast judgment on the March 3rd, 2020 elections. It is their view that the president may have proceeded to engage in political one-upmanship on an illegal basis.

During the National Recount, the Coalition sought to give validity to the plethora of claims of fraud conducted during the elections. The APNU+AFC Coalition provided several lists of migrant voters to the Elections Commission for them to probe. GECOM rejected these overtures on the basis that it was only the High Court that has jurisdiction to probe the elections. Justice Singh argued that GECOM cannot clothe itself with that judicial authority.

Singh, in her decision given to the Commission on July 16, 2020, referenced Articles 162 and 163 of the Constitution of Guyana, which separates the functions of GECOM and the High Court, respectively in matters of the electoral process.

Local political observers have opined that Ali may be concerned that the current litigations surrounding the elections are not going to go in favor of the PPP/C. Hence, the need to establish a personal quasi-court to achieve a specific political mission.

More, In The Ring.