In the real world, folks in charge are always trying to control the outcome of gatekeeper social institutions like courts, Government Boards etc, by staffing them with recruits who’ll toe the desired line. Even though these institutions are supposed to be “neutral”, the practice has been very well practiced in the US, where every President tries to “pack” the courts – including the Supreme Court – with individuals who’re closer to them ideologically.
Right now, Trump has picked conservative Judges who appear willing to challenge even supposedly settled liberal doctrines like women’s right to abortion! But the thing is, even the most aggressive Presidents make sure they’re riding some ideological wave – supported by wide swaths of the society – to legitimise their choices. And in fact, some Justices have surprised their sponsors when they rule in ways contrary to the expected line, when the public mood shifted.
But unlike those Presidents, here in Guyana, President Granger makes no bones about his selections for heading key institutions – he openly look for persons who’ll do whatever is asked of them. Blind loyalty, not even ideology, is his criterion! For instance, rather than appointing the present, quite competent acting Chancellor permanently to the post, he’s selected a fella who has a big black mark against his name. He is, after all, a former Army squaddie, who went into law!! But his most egregious choice among the hundreds he’s made has to be ex-Justice James Patterson, to be head of GECOM. And the man “pen slipped” about being a “Chief Justice”!!
Now, if there is ever a CRITICAL gatekeeper institution in Guyana – it’s got to be GECOM, which oversees the entire elections process to select the President and Government of the country. The stakes don’t get higher than this – especially with oil in the offing!! Granger defied even the constitutionally defined guidelines that demanded consensus with the Opposition Leader to get his own man. And now we see why he went to all that trouble.
Blind sighted by Charrandas’ vote on the NCM, Granger couldn’t risk having elections in three months – even though the Constitution’s clear as day on the matter. So what did he do? His first feint was to go to the courts, to “interpret” what doesn’t need interpretation. But that bought him time. Time for GECOM to drag its feet on preparing for March elections, so that the voters’ list becomes obsolete!! And then – the coup de grace! – his plant Patterson uses his casting vote with his three Commissioners to “advise” the President that elections can’t be held on March 19!!
Let’s see what the ABCE embassies – who’re supporting democracy in Venezuela – will say about this farce after meeting GECOM today!!
When the Government shut down the four sugar estates of Wales, Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon, it claimed it was because of the annual subsidies it had to shell out to keep them going. Your Eyewitness predicted that unless they immediately sold off the estates on an “as is” basis, they’ll end up spending more money than the subsidies. Not to mention the 7000 persons on the breadline and dozens of communities across Guyana doomed to destitution and despair.
And that’s exactly what has happened. Firstly, they borrowed $30 billion to do god-knows-what with the estates – but has since sat on it while paying $1.5 billion annually in interests!! Now this week, they finally woke up and realised the uncultivated estates have reverted to bush and the canals have become clogged with grass. They’ve put out calls for bids to lean the canals – which will cost billions annually – before the coastal villages are flooded!!
We’re still waiting for the fees to clear the forested fields!! What a bunch of incompetents!!
Using the Government’s formula for calculating “voting majorities”, half of the seven-person GECOM Commission = 3.5; rounding up makes this 4 and adding “1 more”, the majority needed is 5.
So, what’s all this nonsense about a 4-3 majority?