Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (retired) Claudette Singh, is expected to make a declaration on the recount of the March 2 elections this week. Given her solid reputation as a former Judge, it is unlikely that she would stray into “dangerous waters” by declaring an outcome that is not supported by hardcore evidence.
Making this pronouncement recently was head of the Observer Mission for the Organization of American States (OAS), Owen Arthur.
During a recent interview on Kaieteur Radio, the former Prime Minister of Barbados said his impression of Singh is that she is a lady who possesses a lot of graciousness and senses that she would want to do right by the people of Guyana. He noted however that she is under a lot of pressure. Arthur said that part of the pressure stems from the fact that she holds the balance of power in Guyana.
The former PM said, “She is the seventh person in a seven person commission…She’s going to hold the deciding vote…She’s aware that the eyes of the rest of the world are upon her. And that matters to her. And I think that you will find that perhaps to be a saving grace. Her reputation is gonna matter to her too.”
As it relates to her impending decision on the recount, Arthur said he would wait for her to give a factual account on the basis upon which she made the final decision. “…Because obviously, she would have had to make that decision on the basis of evidence… I don’t know that there was ever a case in her professional career as a judge where she ever made a judgment on the basis of facts other than those that were presented in the case. So I don’t think that (she )would stray into such dangerous waters,” the head of the OAS Observer Mission stated.
Based on a gazette order on the recount, Singh is expected to make a declaration tomorrow on who will win the elections. Her decision is expected to be informed by the reports of the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield and the CARICOM-three member team that was here to oversee the process.
Lowenfield’s report acknowledges that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has won the elections but also provides advice that if “bogus” votes were removed, the APNU+AFC would be in the lead. Based on his observations, he does not believe that the results of the recount process could be trusted. The CARICOM report contradicts Lowenfield’s report as it categorically states that the recount was credible and the obvious results can be declared.