Justice Claudette Singh: It was the toughest job of my career
Justice Claudette Singh has described running the March 02 elections and the period of uncertainty after as the toughest job of her career and Monday told the News Room she is now taking a few days off to “recuperate.”
She was heavily criticized for taking five months to get the process over with. But she said she always sought to follow the law and was not prepared to drag it out much longer following the ruling of the Court of Appeal.
Following last Thursday’s decisive ruling of the Court of Appeal, she wrote the Chief Elections Officer to submit his report showing the results of the national vote recount. She did not plan on allowing the process to go on much longer if the Chief Elections Officer failed to act again beyond Sunday.
“I was highly criticized but I knew what I was doing.
“Even if he did not bring his report Sunday, I was going to put things in place.
“The declaration was long due, and we had to bring it to the end,” she told the News Room in a telephone interview Monday.
She did bring it to an end on Sunday when she declared Dr Irfaan Ali of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) President.
With the electoral process now brought to an end, Justice Singh is taking time off to relax.
“I am tired. I’ve been on it for a very long time, the whole thing has left me very emotional.
“I have done nothing wrong; I have always acted in accordance with the constitution,” Justice Singh told the News Room.
“The court upheld me, and yet I am being charged. It’s a means of embarrassment,” she stated. Those charges have now been ordered discontinued by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Justice Singh said that she has never faced the kind of threats and intimidation ever before, including when she annulled an election while a sitting Government was in place.
In January 2001 Justice Singh had vitiated the 1997 elections under the grounds that the requirement for persons to use a special ID card to vote was unconstitutional. Her decision forced early elections.
“I had no problems at the time – no threats or anything. But, of course, you didn’t have social media at the time!”