Case adjourned to October 8

first_imgLAA legal challenge– as parties given leave to file affidavitsThe legal challenge against Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan’s creation of new Local Authority Areas (LAAs) has been adjourned until October 8, as the showdown got underway before Justice Gino Persaud in the High Court on Friday.Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall and Attorney Marcia Nadir appeared on behalf of the applicant, Guyana Elections Commissioner Bibi Shadick. In addition, Solicitor General Kim Kyte appeared on behalf of Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan and Attorney Roysdale Forde represented Chief Elections Officer KeithFormer Attorney General Anil NandlallLowenfield.In his arguments, Nandlall emphasised the urgency of concluding the matter before Local Government Elections which are due on November 12. Leave was therefore granted to the respondents to file their Affidavits of Defence within 14 days. “I am to file a reply if necessary,” Nandlall explained to this publication, after the case was heard. “And all three sides are to put their submissions and legal arguments in writing before October 5.”In the writ which was seen by Guyana Times, the Applicant is seeking a several orders which seek to bring the Communities Minister’s alterations into the conformity with Local Democratic Organs Act, Chapter 28:09. The applicant is also petitioning the court to have Bulkan’s orders declared null and void. The Applicant made an application for an Order or Writ of Certiorari to quash Bulkan’s order of holding elections of seven NDCs without first issuing an Order under the LocalJustice Gino PersaudDemocratic Organs Act, to identify the NDCs by name, boundaries, and number of members. These NDCs are Moruka/Phoenix Park; Kitty/Providence; Nile/Cozier; Lamaha/Yarrowkabra; Hauraruni/Yarrowkabra; Plegt Anker/Kortberaad; and Wyburg/Caracas.The Applicant is also seeking two Orders of Certiorari against GECOM CEO Lowenfield. The first moves to quash the Commission CEO’s decision to fix the exterior boundaries in respect to the said seven NDCs, adding that the move was an abuse of power, illegal and constitutes a “usurpation of the statutory functions” of Minister Bulkan.A second Certiorari order seeks to quash his decision to demarcate constituency boundaries within the said seven NDCs on grounds that his actions did not first involve the consultations of electors and stakeholders which include political parties. In this regard, Shadick views Lowenfield’s actions as irregular or improper exercise of discretion, in bad faith, or having cited irregular consideration, adding that it has no legal effect since this would be a violation of Article 13 of Guyana’sCommunities Minister Ronald BulkanConstitution.Shadick is also seeking an Order or Writ of Mandamus to compel Minister Bulkan, under the Local Democratic Organs Act, to establish the boundaries and number of members in respect to the municipality of Mahdia and eight other LLAs so that elections could be held by November 12.The Applicant is seeking another Order of Mandamus for Lowenfield to compel him to hold consultations with stakeholders on the establishment of constituency boundaries within the said Local Authority Areas. The Applicant’s final Order or Writ of Mandamus seeks to have Lowenfield also hold consultations in relation to the re-demarcation of constituency boundaries in Rose Hall and Rose Hall and 13 NDCs.Shadick is also seeking the State to pay her court costs in addition to seeking other orders, directions or writs as the court sees fit. The writ also outlines that the purported establishment of seven NDCs without complying with the provisions ofGECOM Commissioner Bibi Shadickthe Local Democratic Organs Act is unlawful, ultra vires, null, void and of no effect. She said too that Lowenfield acted with authorisation in this regard, while adding that Minister Bulkan unilaterally made changes to the number of seats in 14 Local Authority Areas. (Jarryl Bryan)last_img read more

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