Ramjattan slams ‘rogue elements’ in AFC as more emails emerge
By Bibi Khatoon
Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan has criticised former members the Party’s Canadian Chapter, who have leaked several emails to the media about the role the Party played in President David Granger’s unilateral appointment of Justice James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission.
At the sidelines of a workshop which opened at Cara Lodge Hotel today, Ramjattan said, “I don’t understand if that is responsible membership of a political party by people who are supposed to be very educated and qualified but in any event, that’s what it is- a democratic party and what can we do.”
The AFC Chairman says there is no need to take disciplinary action against the former members since they have already severed ties.
More of those emails emerged today and shows that AFC Member and Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin allegedly saying that he was not happy with the President’s decision to unilaterally appoint a GECOM Chair.
Additionally, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson reportedly wrote in the email that he had “serious issues” with the President’s decision.
“Were we out of office, would we have accepted such a decision to unilaterally appoint a Chairman? The answer is NO! Therein lies my first major issue—why are we accepting it now,” Patterson reportedly wrote.
Patterson further told his party comrades that, “This appointment now sets and unwanted new political procedure in our country…the PPP paid a heavy price for setting precedence when they prorogued Parliament in 2014. We should not be supporting the “loopholes” or “tie breaking clauses” in our Constitution—these should only be used in the absolute last resort.”
Meanwhile, when asked whether the contents of the leaked emails will have a negative impact on the party, Ramjattan expressed confidence that this won’t be the case.
“I do not see any damage flowing from a frank discussion with members that wanted to know our position. If leaders are not frank with their executives and their membership, we’re not going to be having a party and you must understand that there will be and there will be even rogue elements in political parties and that is what has happened here,” Ramjattan said.
The AFC has continually maintained that it was not involved in the process of the selection and appointment of the GECOM Chair.
However, the first set of emails released confirmed that Ramjattan told the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) 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.