Retired Justice Stanley John to head International COI into March 2, 2020 polls
─ President Ali announces
President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Tuesday announced the members of the International Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections.
The members include Chairman of the Commission Retired Justice of Appeal, Stanley John; 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 Chancellor (ag), Carl Singh OR CCH.
According to the statement released by the Head of State, Dr. Afari Jayan and Dr. Nasim Zaidi will serve as resource personnel to assist the commission with its work.
The missive that in the coming weeks, the commissioners and resource personnel will review the reports and documentation, set out modalities and commence work.
Dr. Ali had promised to name members of the examining body last Thursday, during the wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the Enmore Martyrs, at Plantation Enmore, East Coast Demerara Monument.
“The COI will set those who dwell in the house of democracy against those who dwell in the fire of undemocratic rule and norms,” the Head of State remarked.
He is confident that the findings of the COI will see Guyana celebrating yet another victory.
The PPP/C Administration since taking office had vowed to commence groundwork to strengthen the country’s electoral system, which will close major loopholes in the process.
Government will be seeking changes including establishing that SOPs be used as the only basis for the tabulation of results, instead of spreadsheets.
The administration also wants SOPs to be posted online by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and contesting political parties within 24 hours of receiving them.
The APNU+AFC Coalition made attempts to rig the March 2 elections, presenting fake SOPs and claimed victory.
Following five months of legal battles, the will of the people being stifled and numerous calls from the regional and international community, the APNU+AFC accepted defeat and stepped down, finally making way for the constitutionally elected President Ali-led administration to assume office.
Since then, several high-level officials of GECOM and the APNU+AFC faced charges before the courts for issues relating to the elections.