Under Article 162 (b) of the constitution, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is entrusted with ensuring fairness in the conduct of elections. The events of the past week since the March 2nd general elections have filled a large section of the public with dread as it relates to GECOM’s behaviour and in particular the unaccountability to the public of its Chair, Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh and the Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield.
The level of alarm rose substantially on Saturday night when GECOM published, under the hand of Mr Lowenfield, what was purported to be the results of all 10 regions despite the fact that there is a raging controversy over the validity of the tabulation for Region Four, and more particularly, that Mr Lowenfield had been injuncted from proceeding. Mr Lowenfield’s actions and the silence of the chair suggest that there is a conspiracy afoot to prevent a full verification of the results for Region Four. How else does one explain Mr Lowenfield’s decision and the haste to have the results published before the start of Sunday’s proceeding in the High Court relative to the benighted Region Four tabulation? It would appear that the publication of the results is aimed at enabling the rapid swearing in of a President even if major questions remain about the validity of the results.
It cannot be overstated that GECOM owes a duty and obligation to the public to ensure an accurate tabulation of the results for Region Four based on authentic Statements of Poll (SOP) and if these are in doubt then there must be recourse to the respective ballot boxes which would also aid in ascertaining which SOP is valid. There is ample precedent for such in the work of the Cross Commission following the 1997 elections, a matter Justice Singh is well acquainted with. GECOM must not become a vehicle for the rigging of the 2020 General and Regional elections.