The country is one step closer to investigating the events of the 2020 General and Regional Elections following the swearing-in of the presidential Commission of Inquiry today.
The event took place at State House in the presence of senior government officials.
Retired Justice of Appeal Stanley John of Turks and Caicos was named the Chairman of the CoI while its members are former Attorney General, High Court Judge and Acting Justice of Appeal in the Eastern Caribbean, Godfrey P Smith, SC; former Chair and Chief Elections Commissioner of India, Dr S Y Quraishi and former acting Chancellor of Guyana’s Judiciary, Carl Singh.
Dr Afari Jayan and Dr Nasim Zaidi will serve as resource personnel on the CoI, to assist the Commission with its work.
L-R: Stanley John, Godfrey P. Smith, Dr S. Y. Quraishi and Carl Singh
Following the prolonged elections and its attendant controversies, the Caribbean Community (Caricom) scrutinising team had recommended a political audit into the functioning of GECOM. President Dr Irfaan Ali had announced the CoI.
Since last year, Ali had indicated that his Government was “committed” to identifying the individuals responsible in the rigging attempts and pinpointing possible areas of weakness that can be used to guide the required strengthening of Guyana’s electoral system. This would be achieved through the Inquiry, to which stakeholder consultations were facilitated to select appropriate persons.
Since the election fiasco unfolded, several persons that served within the apparatus of GECOM have already been charged with electoral fraud. They include former Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield; former Deputy CEO Roxanne Myers, former Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo among others.