Big, big 2020 question
Kaieteur News – There’s a CNN news program called “The Situation Room,” which has an interesting journalistic angle. I guess most news features in TV stations around the world have that format. After the anchor, Wolf Blitzer delves into each news item, he brings in a CNN analyst to offer their interpretations of each new event.
That angle in journalism is fundamental to helping people understand an event they have seen but would like to know the meaning of and why they happened. Every television columnist and commentator in this day and age receives questions from people who read what they have written and spoken, and would like to understand more about that event.
I often get questions from people via phone, emails and text messages, some of which are valid requests to explain things that they find too strange to understand. People are constantly asking me why the WPA turns out to be so terrible. It was clear that Guyanese would have had a great deal of curiosity about GECOM chairman Claudette Singh last year. It is clear to anyone who was ahead of the election rigging that she was the foremost person in the news in Guyana whether right or wrong.
I have been asked so many times from Guyanese abroad to explain Singh’s world during the election crisis. What follows here is my own interpretation. It does not mean that my wish is definitive. But I have collected secret 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 a test. Many of the theories I will offer here, I have no proof. I assume this may be the reason why Singh did this and did so. Just one example before I move on. I have no evidence to plunder Ms Singh for acting in the interest of APNU + AFC. But a logical deduction leads me to believe that something amiss when she did not intervene on Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 to prevent Clairmont Mingo’s continued presence as a GECOM employee. The proof was shown to the world that it was Region Four vote tables that did not match the voting statements (SOPs).
Here’s my answer to the big, big 2020 question – what was the reason for Claudette Singh acting as she did during the election drama five months? I will divide her behavior into three stages: the subtle pro-APNU + AFC bias; the period of embarrassing expansion, and the phase of persuasion and coercion.
From Wednesday, March 4 to Friday March 13, the tables for Region Four appear to be horribly flawed and Singh should have stepped in on Saturday, March 14 and announced a rejection of Mingo’s act on Friday, March 13. As a former judicial officer she must have known that Mingo had not adhered to the Chief Justice’s ruling to use the Region Four SOPs and be transparent in doing so. What Mingo did at GECOM’s head office on Friday March 13 was a nightmare for every 60-year-old citizen because we saw it when we were young during the Burnham dictatorship.
The second phase was a time of intense stress for Ms Singh. Whether Ms. Singh predicted or did surprise her, the world by not showing approval for the way Singh conducted GECOM business and her attitude to what was now the obvious rigging of the election. I think it was in this period – March to May – when Singh began to rethink his role. I believe that it is drifting under the pressure of international condemnation.
The final step will remain a mystery in Guyana. This was when the CARICOM recount became inevitable and Singh knew that he was facing a fait accompli. The APNU + AFC had reached the point of no return. Their alibis, their descriptions, their accusations, their lies and their delusions took a toll on Singh. But more importantly, I believe that persuasion and coercion has finally driven Singh to accept the results of the observed CARICOM recount.
In this final step, I think two women – the Canadian High Commissioner, Lilian Chatterjee, and the US Ambassador, Sarah Ann-Lynch, started to engage Singh as women, and the women thing started to influence Singh. When she was leaving Guyana, Chatterjee said she always had faith in Singh. That was because she could talk Singh into doing the right thing. Singh eventually changed because the United States imposed sanctions that 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 views of this newspaper.)