‘Accept and move on’ – AFC Leader says of new GECOM Chair
Taking into consideration the country’s national interest, Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Raphael Trotman is urging that the new Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice James Patterson be accepted.
In an invited comment on Monday, Trotman said “it’s a very difficult decision to make, we believe that in the national interest we need to accept it and move on,” the AFC Leader said.
However, he added, “that is not to say move on without having a keen eye on the work of GECOM.”
The AFC in a statement on Friday pointed out that given the constitutional requirement for the consultation process to be purely between the President and the Leader of the Opposition, it played no part in the selection process of Patterson, who was unilaterally appointed by President David Granger.
However, the political party which forms part of the current government said it intends to use the constitutional reform process to ensure that there is a wider participation of stakeholders in the selection of GECOM commissioners.
This is the first time in the country’s history that the GECOM Chairman was appointed outside of the process established by the Carter Formula which was incorporated into the Constitution to ensure there are equity and impartiality installed in the process that governs national elections.
Granger’s decision has received widespread condemnation from civil society, the private sector, political commentators and the main opposition party – the People’s Progressive Party Civic.