AFC confirms authenticity of ‘Ramjattan email’ on appointment of GECOM Chairman
While the Alliance For Change (AFC) has not denied the contents of the email reportedly written by its Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan regarding the advice he gave President David Granger to unilaterally appoint the GECOM Chairman, the Party in a statement on Monday continues to maintain that it was not involved in the process.
According to the AFC press release, “The party restates its position, and the email confirms this, that it was not consulted on the appointment of Justice James Patterson as GECOM Chairman.”
However, the contents of the email, which Ramjattan has since admitted to authoring in a report by Demerara Waves, contradict this position of the AFC.
Ramjattan told the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) in the email that he and AFC Leader Raphael Trotman advised the President to reject the nominees and activate the proviso in the Constitution to make the unilateral appointment of the GECOM Chairman.
“I did express my opinion to the President at a Cabinet break sometime back, after the second list from Jagdeo, that I was not comfortable with any of those names presented,” Ramjattan said in the email.
He went on to explain that “He [Granger] had asked what I thought of the names. I then went on to advise that if he was also of that opinion, then he is within his right to proceed to name a person who fits the constitutional requirements as he is empowered to do under the proviso in that same article 161.”
Many organisations are of the opinion that the appointment was unconstitutional and undemocratic and the parliamentary opposition has since challenged the matter in the court. The appointment also raised concerns about the possible rigging of the upcoming elections.
Ramjattan, in his email, acknowledged that this perception could damage the AFC.
“Colleagues yes indeed perceptions are reality in politics. So we have to work hard to change this dangerously destructive perception. It means going more on the ground to explain what we doing and why. Plus delivering on what was promised.”
Ramjattan said “One impactful deliverable would be our proposals for constitutional reform. We have to start formulating exactly what we want. Otherwise, we would not walk the talk as mentioned by someone here.”
The email continued, “One underlying perception dangerous to the AFC that has emerged from the recent naming of Patterson by Granger is elections will be rigged in future and that AFC really cannot do anything to stop rigged elections.”
But, the AFC argued that the email proves that the Party is open, frank and forthright regarding the discussion on issues and “as the email in question confirms, robust internal exchange of information and ideas on critical matters.”