Home Letters It will not end well for Claudette Singh’s reputation
Claudette Singh, GECOM Chair has now confirmed a statement by APNU/AFC’s GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander reported in the media on Saturday, May 30. In that statement, Alexander had said that Singh had written the Chief Immigration Officer to seek confirmation of a list provided by APNU of persons who were out of Guyana on Elections Day but for whom votes were fraudulently cast. PPP/C Commissioner Sase Gunraj had been reported in the same media article as stating not only that GECOM had made no such decision, but that he as an Opposition Commissioner was not even aware of any correspondence from APNU.
As the recount drags on, Singh’s integrity and competence are being called into serious question. It is now a matter of public knowledge that Singh had written the Commissioner of Police one week earlier for the very purpose stated by Alexander. He knew, but not the Opposition Commissioners. The subject matter is a policy issue for a seven-person Commission not as Singh thinks, a one-person dictatorship. From the language and the details in the recitals to Order 60, it is clear that its drafting required the knowledge and expertise of someone fully conversant with the detailed operational aspects of elections. That someone is Vincent Alexander. It is hard to say which is correct but this matter reveals that Alexander is either Singh’s confidante or she is his poodle.
This issue is another example of Singh leading the electoral body like a circus. Here is why. APNU collaborated with its illegal MP and Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix to obtain from the Immigration Department travel information of certain persons on the Official List of Electors. With the information thus obtained, APNU passed the information to its agents in the recount. Then the information finds its way on the observation reports which are then passed to the Chief Elections Officer. Confident that the information now forms part of the records of GECOM, Harmon then writes Singh officially while issuing threats and dog whistles publicly. To complete the literally vicious circle, Singh then writes the Chief Immigration Officer asking him to confirm the information of which he is the source!
Lawyers use the term “probative value” often to challenge the quality of legal evidence. Auditors use the term “appropriateness” to measure the relevance and reliability of audit evidence. Seeming intent on embarking on an investigation into whether or not GECOM has carried out its constitutional duty, Claudette Singh is creating another brand of evidence which will get her into the history books. But she is taking a dangerous path.
Here are a few reasons: Investigating any errors, flaws or deficiencies concerning the results of elections is for the exclusive jurisdiction of the High Court. Related to that is the well-known principle that one cannot be a Judge in one’s own cause. As a retired Judge, Claudette Singh cannot not know that. Or has she fallen for Harmon’s dangerous threat about calm? And now that she has evidence of questionable value from the Commissioner of Police, will her investigation dispense with the right to be heard rule?
Singh has ineptly reversed the burden of proof and kowtows to the APNU. So, with the authority or knowledge only of Alexander, she has assumed the onus of proof in that party’s fake allegations. Would she now call the Commissioner of Police and all the GECOM staff and party agents involved to give evidence and how will she treat with any rebuttals from Harmon’s/James’ list of persons? And finally, would Singh tell us what standard of proof she will insist on in this clandestine inquiry and wonder whether she is aware of the House of Lords case, In Re B (Children) (Fc) Appellate Committee? I ask these questions to show the absurdity of the path that the self-described Iron Lady has secretly and illegally chosen.
Singh is trying her best to stretch this thing out. But as the Addendum to Order 60 acknowledges, GECOM is required to make a “declaration of the results on the final credible count of the elections”. There is no room for APNU’s David Hinds’ draw and thankfully, the possibility for realising his call for the destruction of the ballot boxes is fast disappearing. Once the tabulation of the Statements of Recount is completed, the Mingo/Lawrence/Lowenfield declaration for District Four will die a natural death. The day of reckoning is fast approaching.
It will not end well for Claudette Singh’s reputation.