BY: DR. JOSH KANHAI
The following is an open letter to GECOM Chair, Justice Claudette Singh
Dear Justice Claudette Singh,
This is my first letter ever written to any public figure, even more doing so publicly. This letter’s intention is not to be disrespectful or harsh in any way.
Many great writers have graced this newspaper with amazing pieces of literature that come from their archives of experience and no doubt great academic accolades. I am writing with no experience and definitively no fancy accolades, but as a young, humble citizen, most importantly from a place I would call instinctive parental desperation. Excuse me if my point strays little or even jumps around, at the end you will get my point. I’m in a position as a husband of three years and father of a mere baby, making my plea for clarity on the way forward as a citizen of this country.
You see Ms Singh, decisions of importance for my family’s wellbeing and life are now solely at your feet. Let me explain my heart’s concern. I have to raise a child in an environment where truth and integrity bear no weight, where morals and values have been eroded by precedents of selfishness and greed. The truth now is what one or groups of individuals deem it to be. Let me explain. Pre 2015 elections, the PPP, a one (1) seat minority Government received hints that they could lose the forthcoming elections because they became complacent and neglected the people, they refused to listen and that’s the truth. People wanted change and believed that the APNU/AFC was that genuine change, that’s the truth. In 2015, the people’s freedom of choice took effect and APNU/AFC became the new Government. You see, some of the very supporters of the PPP, mostly Indians, crossed the bridge of uncertainty with the hope of change for all Guyanese. And that’s the truth!
You see, for the first but not the last time, Guyanese like myself united by taking the power of choice to vote for whoever he or she wanted and voted for APNU/AFC. That’s the truth! Each used their constitutional right! You see, APNU now became a one (1) seat majority Government. And they used it with fury, forgetting so quickly that they were there to first serve. And that’s the truth. Now, as time progressed, that bridge of uncertainty was tested and the people lost confidence in them. On December 21, 2018, that one seat made history in the first-ever No-Confidence Motion against the APNU/AFC Government. That’s the truth! Despite what many might say about Charrandas Persaud, he spoke for me when he said the AFC had no voice, because that’s how I felt at the time as a die-hard Indian supporter of the AFC. From that date, the truth started losing value. The men and women I once looked up to became so desperate to hold on to power, that they manipulated the truth. And that’s the truth!
We were put to shame when the world laughed at us because the APNU Government went to the CCJ to find out what the majority of 65 is “OMG”, “wow” that’s the TRUTH! Refusing to have elections held in the constitutionally mandated time of 3 months, the erosion of law started. You see, if this story was the other way around, APNU would never have allowed PPP to stay in office if a vote of no confidence was passed against them. Hook or crook we would have had elections in the mandated 3 months. That’s the truth. The back and forth and politicians playing politics over a Chairperson for the Elections Commission carried on for months, then finally, you, Justice Claudette Singh, were selected. Because that title in front of your name has relevance and importance. Also, you were deemed to be a person of impeccable character.
You became the Chairperson of GECOM, responsible for free and fair elections. Answerable to no one. Except, that title that binds you to the premise of integrity, the Constitution and the ultimate rule of law. You see Ms Singh, you have passed judgments throughout your career on mere mortals using that very Constitution. And that’s the truth. That’s why my clarity lies solely at your feet. You see, on March 2, 2020, every eligible Guyanese used their constitutional right to vote for a party of their choice. On the 6th of March to now, that constitutional right has been under threat by the same party that unified people 5 years ago to put them into power. That’s the truth. You see, I have seen a President and Government campaigning under a banner of truth and integrity. And that is nothing close to the truth.
You see Ms Singh, I have seen this Government of truth and integrity prepare and fight in the courts to accept a declaration that is an inflated lie; they have disrespected every Guyanese by trying to take our freedom of choice. They have lied and changed their story so often, they have disrespected your staff and their own party agents.
The recount was completed on June 7, 2020. The tabulation process soon followed. And they have thrown their agents at the recount under the bus by refusing to sign the various regional tabulation declarations. Declarations prepared from SoRs that their agents signed. The numbers have spoken for themselves. You see, this is why the clarity I need for myself and family lies with you madam Chair. If you support the incumbent, Guyana will enter true hardship that will bring hardship for myself and family and many others. Right now this delay is causing harm to many. The process of unity started when the various parties united to fight the blatant attempt to steal the rights of the people.
Please do not allow wicked and evil men to forever bring your name to curse and disrespect for putting our beloved country to more shame and hardship. You have the power to give birth to truth, integrity and honesty. You can become the mother of this land by doing what is right. By honouring the will of the people and the Constitution. Let your legacy be one that says, “Justice Claudette Singh, the mother of the land of Guyana”, “The woman that stood against dictatorship and preserved freedom of choice for all”. Let unity and our motto be preserved and more so restored where we truly become one people, one nation and one destiny. Please give me the chance and my family the chance to live and make Guyana great. To make a place I will forever love and call home.