From the reception he was given, caretaker President David Granger paid what can only be described as a “state visit” to the Arthur Chung Conference Centre where the recount of the March 2 elections ballots is underway. Yet, it was clear that he was visiting as the leader and Presidential Candidate of the APNU/AFC coalition that contested the elections. He conceded this when, after his one-hour visit, he fielded questions from the media and dissected partisan positions of several members of his coalition on the recount.
Upon entry with his large entourage, which included his former Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon and several ex-Ministers and PNC/APNU officials such as Amna Ally, he was formally greeted by GECOM CEO Keith Lowenfield and DCEO Roxanne Myers.
He and his political team were then ushered into a formal meeting with the GECOM Chair Claudette Singh, CEO Lowenfield and DCEO Myers followed by another meeting with the Caricom observers. There was then another meeting with GECOM staff with the entire APNU/AFC entourage. In these meetings, matters were raised that Mr Granger later said would be released by GECOM after discussion with the full Commission. These meetings had to have been scheduled, but the Commission was not invited.
The treatment accorded to Mr Granger and his party officials, however, was at complete variance with that of the PPP/C’s and the other Opposition parties’ Presidential Candidates and officials, who are routinely ignored by the GECOM Chair and CEO/DCEO.
The question of bias can be raised, since conducting elections, like dispensing justice, must not only be fair, but must also be seen to be fair.
To remove this perception, will the other parties’ candidates now be accorded an equal opportunity to meet officially with the GECOM Chair, CEO, and DCEO, and have a separate meeting with GECOM staff?