Justice Claudette Singh was this morning sworn in as the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). Her appointment is effective from today.

In a brief interview with the media at the Ministry of the Presidency, Justice Singh said she is committed to having “free, fair and transparent elections”.

The retired Court of Appeal Judge said that she intends to host meetings with both opposition and government appointed commissioners before they convene for their first official GECOM meeting.

Justice Singh said that she believes the differences at GECOM can be settled with discourse.

“I will speak to everybody and I do not believe in people walking out when there is disagreement. I believe in sitting down, hammering out whatever the problem is; not the media will try our problems,” Justice Singh said.

Meanwhile, President David Granger has labelled today’s swearing-in of Justice Claudette Singh to head GECOM as a “good day for the Cooperative Republic of Guyana”.

The Head of State noted that Justice Claudette Singh satisfies the criteria prescribed in the Constitution for the appointment of a Chairman of the Elections Commission, that is to say, “The Chairman of the Elections Commission shall be a person who holds or who has held the office as a judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court or who is qualified to be appointed as any such judge…”

President Granger, emphasising that Justice Singh fit the bill said, “She was called to the Bar in London in 1973 and admitted to the Bar in Guyana in 1976. She served as the Deputy Solicitor General and as a Puisne Judge and a Justice of Appeal. She led the way for the Modernisation of the Justice Reform Project during her tenure at the Attorney General’s Chambers. Justice Singh brings years of legal experience as a jurist and as a practitioner of the law to her appointment. She is respected widely for her integrity, impartiality and independence.”

He further expressed gratitude for her accepting the appointment, and noted that he is confident that she will discharge her duties in accordance with her oath of office and in compliance with the Constitution and election laws.

“I wish her every success during her tenure as Chairman of the Elections Commission. I thank the Leader of the Opposition for swiftly coming to a successful conclusion of the process for the selection of a Chairman of the Elections Commission in accordance with the Constitution and the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice. I recommit the State to providing every assistance to the Commission to enable it to conduct General and Regional Elections in the shortest time possible.”

Attending the swearing-in ceremony were Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo; Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo; ministers of government; Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield; and GECOM Commissioners.

The Leader of the Opposition has already signaled his content at the process of selecting Justice Singh as the new head of the elections body.


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