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High Court to hand down ruling on PPP case against gerrymandering

first_imgLLA alterationHigh Court Judge Gino Persaud will today send out notices to inform when he will make a decision in a People’s Progressive Party-filed case over the Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan’s changes to several Local Authority Areas (LAAs) that the Party deems gerrymandering.Attorney and PPP/Civic Member of Parliament (MP) Anil Nandlall, is representing the applicant, Bibi Shaddick while Attorney General Basil Williams and a battery of lawyers from his Chambers are appearing on behalf of the State.During heated and tense proceedings on Thursday, both sides presented arguments before Justice Persaud, debating whether or not the Minister was required to make public the seven boundaries that were changed.However, Attorney General Basil Williams outlined that the Minister is not required by law to publish the boundaries. Nandlall highlighted that only the changes to theCommunities Minister Ronald Bulkanseats were published.The lawyer noted since the country is only four days away from the 2018 Local Government Elections (LGE), the ruling will impact future elections. He had said in the past, the Attorney General’s side was deliberately trying to delay the case.Among Shaddick’s several orders of which she petitioned the court, is to bring the Communities Minister’s alterations into the conformity with Local Democratic Organs Act, Chapter 28:09. In so doing, the PPP’s Guyana Elections Commissioner (GECOM) Commissioners wants to have Bulkan’s orders declared null and void.The grounds that Shaddick outlined were that Bulkan failed to issue an order to identify the said boundaries under the Local Democratic Organs Act, making his actions null and void. She meanwhile said that GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield went beyond his exercise of discretion, re-demarcating thePPP GECOM Commissioner Bibi Shaddickexisting constituency boundaries as outlined in the orders sought before the court.The writ, which Guyana Times had seen, also outlined that the purported establishment of seven NDCs without complying with the provisions of the Local Democratic Organs Act is unlawful, ultra vires, null, void and of no effect. She had said that Lowenfield acted with authorisation in this regard, while adding that Minister Bulkan unilaterally made changes to the number of seats in 14 LAAs.last_img read more

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