AFC “deeply disturbed” that its GECOM nominee was rejected

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By Devina Samaroo

Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC) Raphael Trotman Friday said his Party is “deeply disturbed and entirely disappointed” that its nominee for the post of a Commissioner at the elections body was rejected by President David Granger.

President David Granger (R) and Desmond Trotman following the swearing in ceremony [DPI Photos]
“The AFC as a Party, I can tell you, is deeply disturbed and disappointed that it was not chosen, again, to name the replacement. This is an ongoing saga; it has been ongoing for at least eight years between the opposition parties. We had been promised the position for some time and we had really hoped that, having been seen as a worthy partner in the coalition, that we’d be seen as worthy to name one of our ranks in the position,” Trotman told media operatives during an interview on the sidelines of an event at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston on Friday, November 24, 2017.

According to Trotman, the AFC feels that an “an injustice has been meted out” and the Executives of the Party will soon meet to discuss the matter.

There was a vacant post for a GECOM Commissioner following the death of Sandra Jones, who was a People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) nominated commissioner.

After reviewing nominees submitted by all the coalition players, President David Granger on Friday swore in the Working People’s Alliance (WPA)-nominated Desmond Trotman as the new Commissioner.

The AFC had nominated former Member of Parliament (MP) Trevor Williams and AFC Executive Member Beverly Alert for the position.

Desmond Trotman being sworn in as a Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM)

President Granger, however, explained to reporters at the swearing-in ceremony that he rejected the other nominees because “in my mind, he [Desmond Trotman] was the fit and proper person.”

When asked why the other nominees were not considered fit and proper, Granger said: “my judgment prevails and I am empowered under the Constitution to exercise my judgment in this matter.”

Granger added that he was impressed with the wealth of experience of Desmond Trotman.

Meanwhile, the AFC issued a statement late Friday afternoon where it further expressed its disappointment in the appointment. The statement says:

The Alliance For Change today received correspondence from His Excellency President David Granger in which he communicated his decision to appoint Mr. Desmond Trotman to replace Ms. Sandra Jones as GECOM Commissioner.

The Management Committee of the party met today and the party is disappointed and disturbed that it could not be represented on the Commission, a principle which it has maintained for over a decade.

Further, acknowledging that 65% of the electorate is under the age of 40 years, the AFC believes that the appointment of the GECOM commissioner should have taken this salient point into consideration. In this regard, the rank and file members of the AFC have expressed reservation about the appointment and were expecting the new commissioner to be a youth or a woman as was proposed by the party.

This issue reinforces the position of the NEC for the review of the Cummingsburg Accord.

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