Justice Claudette Singh is new GECOM Chair

Last Updated on Friday, 26 July 2019, 22:31 by Denis Chabrol

Retired Justice Claudette Singh is the new Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), government and the opposition confirmed.

“We’re very, very happy with this development. The process was consensual.  The names on the list enjoy my confidence and enjoy the confidence of the President. They were found not unacceptable to him and, therefore, he chose from a list not unacceptable to him so there was no question of a unilateral appointment being done here and that’s a great development for Guyana, ” said Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.

He said Justice Singh, who had previously declined his invitation to be on a previous list, on Friday agreed to be a nominee.

Jagdeo expressed confidence in the retired judge’s competence for the job. “We believe that she will deliver fair elections and that’s all that the PPP ( People’s Progressive Party) wants from any chairperson,” said Jagdeo who is also the PPP’s General Secretary.

Jagdeo said he was pleased that the appointment of Singh emerged out of a consensual process.

Jagdeo’s six nominees were Justice B.S. Roy, Justice Claudette Singh, Lawrence Lachmansingh, Attorney-at-Law Ronald Burch-Smith, Attorney-at-Law Kashir Khan, and Justice William Ramlall.

In his reply to Jagdeo’s formal submission, President Granger said, “I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 2018.07.26. in which you submitted six names to be considered for the appointment to the position of Chairman of the Elections Commission. I have selected from that list Justice Claudette Singh, S.C; C.C.H. to be appointed Chairman.”

Justice Singh had vitiated the 1997 general elections on the ground that voter identification cards are unconstitutional.

President David Granger, this afternoon, met Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo at the Ministry of the Presidency where they continued a series of meetings aimed at ‘hammering out’ a list of nominees “not unacceptable” to the President.

The Leader of the Opposition agreed to submit such a list.

The President received and reviewed the list of nominees later this afternoon in an effort to bring the selection process to a speedy and favourable conclusion. This was aimed at ensuring that the Elections Commission could resume its normal functions with the aim of conducting General and Regional Elections in the shortest possible time.

The President, in that regard, swiftly made a selection from the list of nominees and approved Justice Claudette Singh, SC, CCH. Justice Singh satisfies the criteria for the appointment and also satisfies the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) for a consensual appointment supported by both the President and the Leader of the Opposition.