Commissioners of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Tuesday took their oaths of office before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan. The Commission is tasked with investigating certain aspects connected with and being part of the March 2, 2020, Regional and General Elections.
Justice of Appeal Stanley John will chair the Commission of Inquiry (COI).
Other commissioners include former Attorney-General, High Court Judge, and acting Justice of Appeal in the Eastern Caribbean, Godfrey Smith S.C., and former Chancellor of the Judiciary (Ag), Carl Singh, OR CCH.
The Chief Magistrate was appointed and authorised by President Irfaan Ali. The Commission’s terms of reference will be made to the public in due course.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, SC, speaking to media operatives at the sidelines of the event, said this was a commitment made by the government when they assumed office in August 2020.
The APNU+AFC, during the elections period, were accused of attempting to rig the elections.
“It’s a promise made by the President, and the President is delivering on that promise. I believe the President in making the promise would have explained the rationale for the promise.”
“Democracy is central to the rule of law; the rule of law is central to a civilised society. Development cannot take place in the absence of the rule of law.”
According to the Attorney General, although the process is expensive, it is necessary.
“Monetary value alone cannot determine the importance of events. As I said, Guyanese of generations have been papaurised by rigged elections [...]. A monetary cost ought not to be the basis for not pursuing this undertaking.”
Findings from this COI will be utilised to hold persons accountable if they are found to be involved in unlawful activities.