Kaieteur News – There is a CNN news programme named “The Situation Room,” that has an interesting journalistic angle. I guess most news features in television stations around the world has that format. After the anchor, Wolf Blitzer goes into each news item, he brings in, CNN’s analyst to offer their interpretations of each new event.
That angle in journalism is basic to helping people understand an occurrence that they have seen but would like to know the meaning of these happenings and why they occurred. Every columnist and television commentator in this day and age receive questions from persons who read what they have written and spoken, and would like to understand more of that event.
I get questions frequently from people through the telephone, emails and text messages, some of which are genuine requests to explain things that they find too strange to comprehend. People all the time ask me why the WPA turn out to be so terrible. It was obvious that there would have been a deluge of curiosities from Guyanese about GECOM chairman Claudette Singh last year. It is clear to anyone who kept abreast with the election rigging that she was the number one person in the news in Guyana whether rightly or wrongly.
I have been asked so many times from Guyanese abroad to explain the world of Singh during the election crisis. What follows here is my own interpretation. It doesn’t mean my take is the definitive one. But I have picked up confidential bits and pieces from strategically placed people.
A caveat is in order. Many explanations here come from my understanding of how people should act in certain situations. It doesn’t mean I have proof. Many of the theories I will offer here, I have no proof. I simply assume that this could be the reason why Singh did this and did that. Just one example before I move on. I have no evidence to castigate Ms. Singh for acting in the interest of APNU+AFC. But logical deduction leads me to believe that something was amiss when she did not intervene on Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 to halt Clairmont Mingo’s continued presence as a GECOM employee. The proof was being shown to the world that he was tabulating Region Four votes that did not correspond to the statements of poll (SOPs).
Here now is my answer to the big, big question of 2020 – what the reason was for Claudette Singh to have acted the way she did in the five months of election drama? I will divide her conduct into three phases: the pro-APNU+AFC subtle bias; the period of expanding embarrassment, and the stage of persuasion and coercion.
It seems that from Wednesday, March 4 to Friday March 13, the tabulation for Region Four was terribly flawed and Singh should have stepped in on Saturday, March 14 and issue a rejection edict of the Friday, March 13 action of Mingo. As a former judicial officer she must have known that Mingo did not adhere to the Chief Justice’s ruling to use the Region Four SOPs and be transparent in so doing. What Mingo did at the GECOM head office on Friday March 13 was a nightmare for every citizen of 60 years of age because we saw that when we were young during the Burnham dictatorship.
The second phase constituted a time of intense stress for Ms. Singh. Whether Ms. Singh anticipated it or it took her by surprise, the world by not showing approval for the way Singh was conducting the business of GECOM and her attitude to what was now blatant rigging of the election. I think it was in this period – March to May – when Singh began to rethink her role. It is my belief that she was reeling under the pressure of international condemnation.
The final step will remain a mystery in Guyana. This is when the CARICOM recount became inevitable and Singh knew she was facing a fait accompli. The APNU+AFC had reached the point of no return. Their alibis, descriptions, accusations, lies and depravities were taking a toll on Singh. But more importantly, I believe persuasion and coercion finally drove Singh to accept the results of the CARICOM observed recount.
In this final phase, I think two women – Canadian High Commissioner, Lilian Chatterjee, and US Ambassador, Sarah Ann-Lynch, began to engage Singh as women, and the women thing began to influence Singh. When she was leaving Guyana, Chatterjee said she always had faith in Singh. That was because she was able to talk Singh into doing the right thing. Singh eventually changed because US imposed sanctions she was not prepared to endure. The rest is history.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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