…by caretaker Granger
Granger’s finally come out and revealed the method behind his seemingly obstreperous madness over the choosing of the new GECOM Chair. As is his wont, he didn’t have the gumption to address a media presser where he could’ve been grilled over the gaping holes in his “explanation”. Rather, he spoke to his simpering “Deputy Director of the Ministry of the Presidency’s Public Information and Press Service Unit” on his so-called “Public Interest Programme”, which, in the past had at least included some other ‘safe’ journalists.
Now, we all know the CCJ had called for a “consensual” process to effectuate the directive of Art 161 (2) to select a GECOM Chair: the President must pick from a list of six names “not unacceptable” to him submitted by the Opposition Leader. Now this process had worked just fine ever since 1992 on at least 3 occasions between the PPP and the PNC – until Granger rejected 3 lists of 6 names by Jagdeo to unilaterally appoint James Patterson.
Suspicions as to why he wanted his hand-picked nominee surfaced early in the day when he insisted the person HAD to be a judge. These suspicions were well confirmed subsequently. He wanted a “toothless poodle”, a la Burnham’s infamous Justice Bollers, to fiddle with the electoral process to guarantee his PNC-led Government’s return. The CCJ’s order for “consensualism” was directed to Granger to prevent him from acting unilaterally once again!!
The CCJ explicitly ordered him to provide reasons for rejecting candidates submitted by Jagdeo to show it wasn’t arbitrary, whimsical, and capricious just to make another unilateral appointment. The CCJ envisaged meetings between the two sides – especially with their principals, Granger and Jagdeo— to “hammer out” the “not unacceptable” names. Jagdeo, in his magnanimity, proposed that Granger could also suggest some names.
But this was just what Granger was waiting for – and it proved the maxim, “give them an inch and they’ll expect a mile”, was absolutely spot on!! He countered Jagdeo’s original resubmission of 11 names with eight names of his own – dominated by party loyalists. After two weeks of desultory meetings, he finally found 4 of Jagdeo’s names “not unacceptable” but then submitted 2 new names, which Jagdeo rejected and which made Granger reveal his true intentions.
To his captive media operatives, he railed about Jagdeo denying him “a role” in the selection process!! If he’d already found 4 of Jagdeo’s names “not unacceptable” why couldn’t he then select one of them from the list of six?? He’d be playing his role, wouldn’t he??
But noooo!! He wants to create his list and choose from it too!!
Unilateralism approved by the Opposition Leader!! He must think everyone’s stupid!!
Institutions are centred on some value, which, in their operations, they seek to bring alive. The institution named GECOM’s role is described pithily on its website: “the entity that’s responsible for the administration and conduct of elections in Guyana”. Get that?? “The entity that’s responsible for the administration and conduct of elections in Guyana”, nothing more, nothing less. It doesn’t set the date for elections as we explained yesterday – that’s the responsibility of the President, who must operate according to the very specific constitutional directives. As explained by their in-house counsel, they cannot aid and abet the President in flouting those constitutional directives; they’d also be in contempt once those directives were confirmed by a court.
GECOM has now embarked on H-t-H registration – ensuring that CCJ’s directive to the President that elections must be held 3 months after June 18, that is, Sept 18 will be flouted. The Opposition’s in a quandary on responding.
But that is because they’re trying to act within the law against folks who are breaking the law!
Ain’t gonna work!!
If Caricom didn’t censure the PNC for violating all the norms of democracy for decades during the Burnham dictatorship, why expect them to act differently now?
It’s the same brotherhood of the skin – with oil now an additional incentive!