GECOM Chair refutes Commissioners’ claim of her “refusal” to meet with PNC
Jan 13, 2021 , Source - Kaieteur News Online - https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...al-to-meet-with-pnc/
GECOM Chair Claudette Singh
Kaieteur News – Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh has refuted claims by opposition-nominated Commissioners, Vincent Alexander, Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman, in which alleged that Singh had refused to meet with a People’s Nationals Congress (PNC) delegation, on the ground that it had been “unprecedented”.
In a statement to the press last evening, the Chairman recalled that PNC General Secretary Amna Ally wrote to her on January 7, requesting to “engage you singularly as the Chairperson of the Commission to proffer our proposals of the matters at hand before participating in the Commission’s meeting.”
Singh notes that in her response, also dated at January 7, she extended an invitation for the team to meet with the Commission on January 12 at 2PM. “In a separate communication on the same day,” the Chairman adds, “I also requested that many issues likely to be raised are matters to be addressed by the Commission, and recommendation that proposals should be forwarded in writing so that they may be dispatched to the Commissioners for their perusal and consideration prior to the meeting.”
Later on January 11, in her response, Ally reiterated her request to meet singularly with the Chair, to discuss matters in relation to voters’ registration. Singh went on to say that the GS further stated that “It is public knowledge that you have facilitated meetings with other stakeholders both foreign and domestic without major formalities…” She expressly opined that a meeting with the full Commission can be held subsequent to a meeting with the PNCR.
However, the Chair says that she further advised Ally on January 12, 2021, prior to the meeting of the Commission, of her insistence that the team to meet with the “full Commission as is customary when meeting with Political Parties”. She further explained that this methodology had been useful in ensuring all Commissioners collectively benefit from the issues to be addressed for later deliberation and decision.
“The claim made by Commissioners Alexander, Corbin and Trotman that I refused to meet because such a meeting is unprecedented is grossly misleading at the very least. As Chairperson of GECOM, I have never engaged with any political party on my own. Proposals made by stakeholders are always welcomed and being heard by the full Commission allows for a more meaningful engagement at that level,” the Chairman expressed.
She continued that in any event, as Chairperson, she reiterates that it is appropriate to engage political parties at the level of the Commission so that their concerns may be discussed and, where necessary, action taken. “It is for these very reasons that I extended an invitation to Ms. Ally to meet with the entire Commission as I would with any other political party expressing a desire to meet with me singularly,” the Chair concluded in her statement.