Baffled at comments made by the US Ambassador

first_imgDear Editor,On October 6, 2017, the Guyana Chronicle in an article captioned “GECOM not in crisis” quoted US Ambassador Perry Holloway as saying with respect to the absence of a Chairman for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) “that while a Chairman should be named soonest, in the interest of the people, there is no crisis situation…I don’t think we are at a crisis point yet.”Of the procedure for appointing a Chairman, Ambassador Holloway said “There is a process and it is dictated by law and regulation in Guyana. I think the process is largely being followed.” These are interesting comments from Ambassador Holloway. With respect to his comments on the process, I am baffled that this gentleman, who could not be heard to say that he is unaware of the ruling of Chief Justice Roxane George which shredded earlier legally unfounded positions of President Granger with respect to the appointment process of a Chairman for GECOM, could say the process is largely being followed.For example, Ambassador Holloway must be aware that President Granger had openly expressed his preference for the appointment of a Judge as the Chairman of GECOM. Justice George negated this contention as well as the President’s contention that a mixed list of “fit and proper persons” and persons who the President in the exercise of perhaps both legal and moral judgment, considered not to be “fit and proper” did not allow him ample breadth of consideration for the selection of a Chairman for GECOM. The decision of the Chief Justice demonstrates in no uncertain manner that the President was hopelessly wrong in the way he approached the selection process of a Chairman for GECOM and that his erroneous views on the relevant article of the Constitution resulted in considerable and unnecessary delay in that appointment. How in these circumstances can Ambassador Holloway say that the procedure is largely being followed?Then, in the circumstances which obtain at GECOM, Ambassador Holloway says there is no crisis at GECOM. My first observation in relation to his remarks was that Ambassador Holloway appear to be speaking on behalf of GECOM.The Stabroek News, in its October 16, 2017 edition reported Chief Election Officer Lowenfield as saying that the absence of a Chairman at GECOM “was undoubtedly affecting the operations of GECOM” and that “the absence of a constitutionally-required chairperson, no doubt will impede on the smooth processes of the agency.”Commissioner of GECOM Sase Gunraj supported the views expressed by Lowenfield. He said Commissioners of GECOM were frustrated in their roles because of the non-appointment of a Chairman for GECOM.These comments from these GECOM officials openly contradict the statements of Ambassador Holloway who is to be seen as having put his foot in his mouth on this issue. What excited my thoughts and provided justification for the view that Ambassador Holloway was speaking on matters that were not really his to make, was the Ambassador’s comment that “I don’t think WE are at a crisis point yet.” What entitles Ambassador Holloway to speak of “we” in relation to GECOM?The United States Government openly facilitated the People’s National Congress (PNC) into government and then turned a blind eye to the PNC’s electoral malpractices by which they continually imposed themselves into government for nearly three decades.The United States Government in the past did not understand or did not care about the nature of the PNC beast it was dealing with. The beast has returned as the Trojan Horse – the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), and the people of Guyana are once again facing Burnhamism which translates into corruption and racism. Ambassador Holloway, by his recent comments seems more than ready to prop and support this faltering, bungling, inept APNU/Alliance for Change coalition Government. I politely refer him to the Stabroek News editorial of October 16, 2017, which stated “As in many other areas: the Integrity Commission, the code of conduct, the Local Government Commission and constitutional reform, the Government has failed to deliver good governance.”Thousands of people in this country concur with those views. Please Mr Ambassador, the people of Guyana are now more discerning than in the sixties. Try to demonstrate the required neutrality expected from your office.Sincerely,Selwyn Persaudlast_img