An Open Letter to the GECOM Chair and CEO – break the ice after the court rules

An Open Letter to the GECOM Chair and CEO – break the ice after the court rules

Dear Madam Singh and Mr. Lowenfield,

I am humbly and respectfully writing this letter to you by means of the media because I am convinced that your voice can make a significant difference to bring clarity to the current narrative of the 2020 Elections.
I have huge respect and admiration for you Madam Singh, and I believe Mr. Lowenfield gave the nation a demonstration of his credibility at the 2015 Elections. However, it’s my considered opinion that both of you need to address the public on the contentious matter of Region Four Statements of Poll at the opportune time.

It is very interesting to observe what is happening via the television, radio, newspapers and social media as regards the true narrative of Guyana’s 2020 Elections. In the absence of the voice of the leadership of GECOM, the many and deliberate attempts to define, deny, disguise, distort or even declare the true story of the Elections, have driven us into a somewhat devilish, disagreeable and divisive state of affairs. Some people are still not sure what the true narrative of the 2020 Elections is but it is expected that you would know.

I believe what is urgently needed now is a confident and courageous declaration of the true narrative of the elections. This truth must come from the entity entrusted with the responsibility to oversee the conduct of free, fair, transparent and credible elections, the Guyana Elections Commission. And, this truth or true narrative should be delivered to us by the Chair and CEO of GECOM, without fear or favour.

Back in 2019, following the swearing in ceremony for you, Madam Singh, as Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission, you said two very important things. Firstly, “My priorities are endeavouring to have free, fair and transparent elections.” Secondly, “I believe in inclusivity and I will speak with everybody. And I don’t believe in people walking out when there is a disagreement. I believe in sitting down and resolving whatever the problem is.”

Subsequently, in January 2020 when some persons were claiming that over 6,000 house-to-house registrants were non-existent, you said that, and I quote “We have no evidence that” these new registrants “do not live at the addresses which they gave,” but “if anyone has any evidence that these are empty house lots, then bring the evidence.”

Consequently, Madam Chair, I respectfully enquire, is there any evidence of electoral fraud as regards Region Four Statements of Poll or votes tabulation? Maybe there are things that you know that we don’t know. I don’t believe that you, Madam Chair, who said on Nomination’s Day that “I will not sell my integrity for all the oil in Guyana”, are a supporter or condoner of electoral fraud. Is this a case of: bring the evidence or do you have evidence that does not support the narrative of electoral fraud? It would appear so, because you have stood firm.

Further, on Friday February 28, 2020, Mr. Lowenfield, you told media operatives that a decision was made by GECOM to allow another team of election agents from the political parties to accompany the Deputy Returning Officers (DROs) from their offices to uplift the statements of poll and boxes from presiding officers. This was to ensure there was utmost transparency in the electoral process.

Also, you said that the DROs would deliver the statements to the Returning Officers, who would in turn deliver those to the Chief Elections Officer. For that reason, I believe Mr. Lowenfield, you should be able to tell us the true story about the Region Four SOPs.

Mr. Lowenfield some are saying that somebody is trying to steal the election. Is that true or false? I believe you are a man of strict integrity, and hence I am asking you to clear-the-air of apparent confusion and uncertainty on the matter as soon as appropriate.

Madam Chair and Brother CEO some have said, “silence implies consent.” But silence doesn’t always mean consent. For me, an argument from silence is inconclusive. I would rather hear your narrative about the 2020 Elections and I suspect that many other persons want to hear your story. Your story is the most significant story to me, because I regard you both as credible officials.

In this election saga, you are the closest persons to the truth that we have when it comes to the credibility of the election. I am not accusing you Madam Chair and Brother CEO of fraud. I am not charging you with falsehood or some wrongdoing. I am asking you to speak to us concerning the relevant issues as regard Region Four votes after the court rules.

Madam Chair and Brother CEO, the narrative of some international observer groups/missions like, the OAS, the Commonwealth, The Carter Center, and the ABC/EU Envoys, all blacken the character of GECOM as it regards some aspects of Region Four tabulation process. Their story also denigrates GECOM’s leadership. Actually, the Commonwealth Observer Group said: “At no point did the leadership of the Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) halt or rectify blatant instances of disregard for the rule of law and electoral ethics, despite its vested authority to independently ensure credible elections.”

In addition, the Commonwealth Observer Group said “It is the clear and considered view of the Group that the tabulation processes conducted by the Returning Officer (RO) for Region 4, Clairmont Mingo, were not credible, transparent and inclusive” (KN: 19/03/2020).

These two statements are very damning and damaging. Although the infallibility of international observers cannot be denied and there are cases where democracy has been sacrificed on the altar of more important western goals; this appears to be a case of the credibility of the leadership of GECOM versus that of some of the international observers.
GECOM can no longer remain silent, especially since the Region Four vote’s tabulation process is ‘the fly in the ointment’ that is affecting GECOM’s delivery of a credible election.

Madam Chair Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh and Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield, the credibility of GECOM is linked to its commitment and adherence to truth. The one thing that can make all Guyana free, regardless of party affiliation, is the truth. One thing that can break the electoral deadlock is the truth.

Madam Chair and Brother CEO, you have that truth. Your voice can do what the court may not be able to do. You have both stood firm in this tabulation troubles. You must now speak the truth that you have, so that the truth can make us free. Break the ice after the court rules.

Thank you very kindly Madam Chair and Brother CEO.

Yours respectfully,
Pastor Richard Avert James

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