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Commission of Inquiry into Guyana elections starts Friday

Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC)

Commission of Inquiry into Guyana elections starts Friday
Members of the Commission of Inquiry into the 2020 Guyana elections are (from left) Godfrey P. Smith, Stanley John and Carl Singh - FP

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Georgetown – The long-awaited presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Guyana elections of March 2020 is set to begin on Friday.

With approximately 20  witnesses already lined up to recount their observations of the elections and the five months that followed until the results were declared in August, the government promised to use the Commission to hold responsible those who attempted to change the outcome of the election.

According to Chairman of the Commission, retired Justice of the Appeal of the Turks & Caicos Islands, Stanley John that was not its mandate.

John said the inquiry was to find out the facts of what occurred, why it occurred, who is responsible, and what can be done to prevent a recurrence.

“We stress that in an inquiry of this nature there is no claimant and defendant, no prosecutor or accused, no pleadings, charges or indictments,” Justice John said.

The other members of the Commission are former Chancellor of the Judiciary (Guyana), Carl Singh; and former Belize attorney general, High Court judge (Belize) and acting Justice of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Godfrey P. Smith.

The proceedings that will be open to the public and will be webcast “live”.

Promising to conduct the inquiry with “utmost care and expeditiously”, hearings are expected to be completed by the end of January next year and a report submitted roughly two months later.

The former APNU+AFC coalition government was accused of being in concert with former Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield and others to fraudulently change the outcome of the elections in favour of the David Granger-led government.

A recount confirmed that the People’s Progressive Party-Civic won the elections, and Irfaan Ali was sworn in as President of Guyana on August 2, 2020, five months after the elections were held.