– but cannot remember when; admits to being friends with Hoyte
He has been appointed to one of the most crucial constitutional posts in Guyana; but when asked exactly when he served as a Chief Justice (CJ) of Grenada, new Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman James Patterson cannot remember when.
Patterson’s service as a Chief Justice of Grenada was listed on his Curriculum Vitae (CV) for the GECOM position. It has been hotly debated after background checks initially turned up no records he was ever the CJ.
“I’ve been appointed acting Chief Justice. They had me acting for a number of years. I don’t remember (when). People refer to me, to this day, as Chief Justice…,” Patterson stated.
“I don’t remember the precise years. It’s got to be anything around 30 years ago. I went there in 1983 and came back in 1991,” Patterson, who was sworn in last month, said. “That much I remember,” he added.
Responding to the criticism and debate about his partiality to the People’s National Congress, he admitted to being friends with late former President Desmond Hoyte and to having studied with him. Patterson, however, said he does not and has never belonged to a political party.
He also shied away from questions regarding the constitutionality of Granger’s decision to appoint him. According to Patterson, the President has Attorney General Basil Williams to advise him.
Patterson was sworn in as GECOM Chairman in a surreptitious, late night ceremony on October 19, 2017, by President David Granger. This is despite not being on any of the nomination lists submitted by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.
Since Granger reached outside the 18 nominees provided, in an unprecedented move to handpick Patterson, a number of individuals and organisations spanning a wide cross-section of society have also soundly criticised and condemned the President’s unilateral decision.