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Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh said the mandatory injunction granted by the Court hampered the Commission’s ability to resolve the 2020 electoral crisis at an earlier stage.
Justice Singh issued the statement on Tuesday, in response to an Editorial published in the Stabroek News on October 24, 2021 under the title “Politics and the Courts.”
In that Editorial, Stabroek News said: “it might be remarked that under the current arrangements what matters is the resolve and fortitude of the Chairman, and under extreme pressure Justice Claudette Singh shied away from doing what was necessary at the very earliest stages of the crisis last year. As things stand it is not a post for the faint-hearted.”
At the time, the newspaper was analyzing a UWI Cave Hill Campus virtual presentation by Political Scientist Professor Cynthia Barrow-Giles and Law Lecturer Dr. Ronnie Yearwood.
Justice Singh said while Professor Barrow-Giles view that “it was GECOM which should have had an overriding role to play in the developments that took place in the wake of the 2020 elections, but that it had been sidelined,” is quite accurate, Stabroek News failed to take into consideration the mandatory injunction which was granted by the Court against the Commission and the then Chief Election Officer, Keith Lowenfield.
In an attempt to set the record straight, the GECOM Chairman said the injunction impeded her intervention and by extension that of the Commission to implement a legally guided decision and approach to finalize the electoral process.
“Although the Commission has repeatedly justified its actions at that point, I believe the Stabroek News Editor has conveniently missed it. In this regard, I take this opportunity to remind all Guyanese that on 5th March, 2020, a mandatory injunction was granted by the Court against the Commission and Chief Election Officer which as a consequence impeded my intervention and by extension that of the Commission to implement a legally guided decision and approach to finalize the electoral process,” Justice Singh said.
She added: “As a former Law Officer and a retired Justice of Appeal, I wish to categorically state that I will always uphold and respect the Laws of Guyana and whether strong or weak, whoever is the Chairperson of GECOM must also abide by the Constitution and decisions of the Court.”