November 11 ,2021
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and the Leader of the Liberty and Justice Party, Lenox Shuman has written the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission, Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh SC urging that she moves to seek external support for the hiring of the new Chief Election Officer.
A letter from Shuman to Singh follows:
Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh
Chairwoman of the Guyana Elections Commission
Dear Madam Chair
Re: Hiring of Chief Election Officer and Senior functionaries of the GECOM
It is my sincere hope that you have been keeping well in this time of COVID and wish you continued strength. I also take this opportunity to wish you best on this Remembrance Day. The sacrifices of our people in uniform cannot be forgotten.
In reference to the captioned subject matter, I write to solicit your forceful intervention as the Executive Chair of the Commission to seek external support for the hiring process for these very important positions.
Madam Chair, the troubles of the political history of Guyana and the troubles that reoccur are but a few page-turns away and quite voluminous. There continues to be two political party that purport to represent Guyana sitting to the right and left of you, when in fact we know they are very partisan; and the nation is aware that the Price-Carter formula has outlived its usefulness as was clearly evidenced by the most recent elections and previous elections.
The last elections also saw arguably the largest number of observer missions attending Guyana’s elections of which there are, at minimum, 4 reports emanating from the 2020 elections. In all the reports dating back to the initial elections that came out of the Price-Carter formula, there have been consistent calls for a revision of a variety of processes to ensure an impartial and unbiased Commission. Were we to set aside those recommendations, it would demonstrate the respect we have for our international partners, the value we place on their work, and it has the potential of painting Guyana as finding friends of convenience instead of friends with mutual values and respect.
Against this backdrop, as the leader of the Liberty and Justice Party, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament and as a Sitting Member of Parliament, I am imploring you to guide the commission to solicit and accept support from our international partners to conduct this process to fill these important offices and restore the integrity, credibility and public’s confidence in the commission that is so desperately needed at this juncture. If this cannot be done, there exist a public fear that status quo will once again lend itself to political manipulation as we have seen in the past and that will further undermine “THE” institution that was meant to fortify democracy in Guyana.
The confidence I place in you as the Chair is unquestioned, however the commissioners in themselves, though highly qualified and capable as individuals and specialists in their respective fields, do not enjoy the same from me nor the public.
I, and the public look forward to your kind and timely response on this matter.
Hon. Lenox R. O. Shuman
Deputy Speaker; MP