Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence and Claudette Singh
Kaieteur News – Any Guyanese whether in Iceland, Greenland or Afghanistan who followed the uprising on Capitol Hill in the US and knew what happened in Guyana between March and July in 2020 would have called memories the Claudette Singh.
First up were the words of Republican Senate majority leader Mitch Mc Connell. Addressing Parliament, he noted that the people who want to reverse the election results are the losers. Immediately your mind would have turned to Guyana. Only the entity called APNU + AFC described the election as rigged.
Attached to the PNC were deputies like Lincoln Lewis, Eusi Kwayana, Dr. Mellissa Ifill of AS and others looked at the election results with racial lenses. No civil society organization, no opposition, no foreign government, no foreign legislator, no one from any international organization – major or minor – supported words of intervention by the PPP in the 2020 election here.
Mc Connell, though a Trump supporter, was conscientious enough to point out that the loser wanted the outcome to change. In this respect, the election atmosphere in the US was similar to that of Guyana. Enter, Vice President Pence. After storming Capitol Hill while members of both houses counted the Electoral College votes, the account resumed and Mr Pence did what we in Guyana were expecting Claudette Singh to do.
Pence addressing U.S. legislators approved the election of Joe Biden as the winner. In Guyana, it took a different turn. We all know the shaming events that took place after March 4 with Singh staying far from the illegals being committed by the GECOM Secretariat. He didn’t leave pennies to come back. He remained on Capitol Hill and continued the count. Of course, it could have ruined the process by offering some excuse for leaving.
This is where Pence stood still and his exile must be contrasted with Singh. At the point where the Chief Justice had forced Mingo to tabulate Region Four results using the voting statements (SOPs), Singh had her chance to block it. The time for intervention came on Friday, March 13 at GECOM’s head office in Kingston. Mingo once again used fiction numbers that did not match the SOPs.
International observers were there on Friday, March 13 and witnessed the continuation of Mingo’s pantomime. The following day, Singh should have convened a meeting of GECOM, replaced Mingo, continued Region Four polls and the following day, Sunday, March 14, GECOM should have made a statement of the results using the official SOPs.
The uprising on Capitol Hill did not stop Pence. At no point from Wednesday, March 4, Singh intervened. In the United States, democracy was saved by the unspoiled integrity of Pence. This is what we expected from Singh, long before the Court of Appeal upheld the decision that the CARICOM observed recount was the basis for making a statement.
There is an essential tone in the comparison between Singh and Pence. Pence is a Republican politician and President Trump’s Vice President. He could have accepted Trump’s silly exclamation that the US election was interrupted. Singh, on the other hand, was supposed to be an objective, independent agent. Yet her action was questionable from March until the end of June.
A penny saved American democracy. The rule of law saved Guyana’s democracy and brought Singh’s role to the center. After the Caribbean Court of Appeal ruled that the recount was valid, the APNU + AFC descended to an abysmal level of assininity by asking a lower court to overturn a higher court decision.
The Chief Justice was definitive – court time was wasted because he could not overturn the CCJ ruling. More relatives followed when the Chief Justice’s ruling appealed that the lower court could not act. Guyana’s second highest court then ended the election by holding the ruling of the Chief Justice.
Looking back then on Guyana’s election circus and comparing it to how Vice President Pence acted hours after rebels occupied Capitol Hill, Singh’s role is laid bare. Looking back on 2020, I had planned to do a whole column on Singh. But this comparison with Vice President Pence should be sufficient.
As the days unfold in the US and the commentaries and analyzes intensify the role of the mobs that captured Capitol Hill for nearly an hour, Guyanese all over reflect on the five-month-old madness that overtook this country , burst of dangerous. madness that only one person could have prevented – Madam Claudette Singh.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this newspaper.)