The question right now is: Why has the GECOM Chairperson become a problem? And the answer is: because the PNC-led Coalition has taken time off to make it “their problem.” If you trace back in history, you will find that in the selection of a chairman vis-a-vis the holding of national elections, there has always been a problem whenever this party is in power. Hoyte took two years to make up his mind. Elections should have been held in 1990, but Hoyte kept his dilly-dally up for two long years, and a chairman was selected as well as elections held.
It is a lifelong malignancy of the PNC, as we come up to that time again. You ask me if we have become used to it, and I would give you an honest answer: No! We just have to hold our collective breath and hope and pray that God speaks to the “good conscience” of the PNC, and it listens.
And should I say it all has to do with the constitution. Just as it did in Hoyte’s time, the same convoluted reasoning is put forward this time around: a falsified interpretation of the law governing the selection. The Carter Center and the participating committee who framed the constitution were very clear in its details: the most favoured selectee being a judge and also “any fit and proper person.” Definitive words that need no further clarification, at least not from Granger nor his crazy Attorney General — especially with the present attorney-general being very limited where legal interpretations are concerned. That clause is crystal clear, so what is Granger’s gripe? What is his problem?
If we should acknowledge their gerrymandering of the term “fit and proper person”, then wasn’t Dr Surujbally a “fit and proper person”? He is a veterinarian, who headed the Commission for the longest period so far. At least Granger and the PNC knew fully well what “fit and proper person” meant when Dr Surujbally pronounced them winners of the last election. He is not a judge, and could only have occupied that post on the merit of “fit and proper person.” So how come it is a problem now that a judge and fit and proper person must be interpreted as one and the same thing? So do not try to insult our intelligence with your posturing of the meaning of the clause “fit and proper person”.
We are now in the season of selecting a chairperson who would be “fit and proper”; or, simply put, one who would be “fair”, one who would uphold the constitution and ensure that Guyana again returns to free and fair elections and elections that are free from fear. That is all we are asking.