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Gov’t to write international organisations on Norton’s threat to GECOM Chair – VP

Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo.

Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has stated that the Government will be writing to international organisations on what he deemed as a ‘threat’ made by Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton to the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton last week called for GECOM’s Chairperson Retired Justice Claudette Singh’s resignation. While stating this demand, it was noted that there are many things the APNU+AFC can do to put pressure on the commission and the chairperson.

Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo during a press conference on Friday said he is shocked that no civil society body or international community has called out ‘Norton’s threat.’

“The small-timer who said that Irfaan Ali bullied him into a handshake now is trying to bully the Chairman of GECOM.”

“I have seen him on several occasions say some of the most disparaging things about the Chair of GECOM, but what bothered me the most is that on the two occasions, he has issued a not so veiled threat to the Chairperson of GECOM.”

In light of these developing matters, the Vice President revealed that his government would be writing to international bodies on what he deemed as ‘Norton’s threat to the GECOM Chair.’

“He’s threatened that if she’s not removed, she’d have to face some consequences […] we are going to be writing. I am going to ask Gail Teixeira to write to every international organisation exposing this threat by the leader of the opposition against the Chair of GECOM.”

According to the Vice President, Norton is trying to intimidate the Chairperson into either acting in a pro-PNC manner or getting rid of her because she is impartial.

Norton had claimed the GECOM Chairperson is not independent as she was voting with the PPP/C on every issue that was being brought up at the commission’s level.

However, the Chairperson had made it clear that anything she does, she does it in accordance with the law, “And I try as a former judge I always try to uphold the rule of law.”

“Well when the time comes, I will leave,” Singh had stated when asked to respond to the APNU+AFC’s call for her resignation.

Jagdeo has also revealed that the changes to the Representation of the People’s Act will be passed before the Local Government Elections are held in November.


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