Opposition GECOM Commissioners in second attempt to get review of 2020 elections; Chairman to rule next week
Opposition-nominated Commissioners to the Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) have made a second bid to secure an internal review of the 2020 elections although the Chairman of the electoral body, Justice (retired) Claudette Singh, has already ruled against it.
Led by Charles Corbin, the three APNU+AFC nominated Commissioners (Vincent Alexander and Desmond Trotman) on Tuesday presented a motion to the seven-member Commission, asking that Justice Singh reconsiders her decision not to allow an investigation of the 2020 general and regional elections by GECOM.
The Chairman had said it was outside of the Commission’s mandate to do so.
With the PPP/C nominated Commissioners already voting against the motion presented on Tuesday, the Chairman has reportedly refused to vote.
Instead, she will rule on the motion when the Commission meets again next week.
Commissioner Sase Gunraj told the News Room that no new argument was presented by the Commission.
“It is an attempt to relitigate an already decided issue. They are relying on the same nebulous facts and that’s it,” Gunraj said via telephone.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Bibi Shadick would only say that she awaits the Chairman’s ruling.
Justice Singh had been pressed by Opposition-nominated Commissioners to look into questions about the validity of votes and missing documents. But in a previous ruling she handed down to the Commission, Justice Singh said those are matters for a court and not GECOM.
She said it was important to distinguish between a review of GECOM’s processes in effectively conducting an election and an investigation into what actually transpired during a particular election.
She said GECOM can look into the effectiveness of the system that is in place to ensure that an election is carried out in accordance with the law to ascertain whether there are (potential) weaknesses in the system that need to be addressed.
But she said to investigate what actually transpired during the election is to determine the truth of particular claims, leading possibly to a determination of the validity of an election, and that is something that GECOM is not empowered to do.
She said that a review of the elections could be done by GECOM only if the intention is to determine potential weaknesses in the processes employed by GECOM for the conduct of elections and to propose improved methods or processes for future elections.