President’s appointment of GECOM Chair averted `looming constitutional crisis’ – AFC

The Alliance For Change (AFC) this evening said that President David Granger’s appointment of a chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission “has averted a looming constitutional crisis”.

In a statement, the AFC, a partner in the governing coalition,  said the process for appointing a chairman is strictly between the President and the Opposition Leader and it played no part in the selection.

It said that it holds GECOM to the highest standards of electoral integrity and will “stridently challenge” any threats to the preservation of the country’s democracy.

The statement by the AFC follows:

The Alliance For Change notes the decision made by President David Granger in appointing Justice James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). The party recognizes that according to the constitution the consultation process was purely between the President and the Leader of the Opposition. The AFC played no part in the selection process.

The AFC intends to use the constitutional reform process to ensure that there is wider participation of stakeholders in the selection of GECOM commissioners.

It is regrettable that after three protracted rounds of consultations and submissions each of the three lists fell short of the requirements of the constitution. The party recognizes that the necessity had arisen for the President not to further delay the appointment of a Chairman. The appointment in the President’s own deliberate judgement has averted a looming constitutional crisis.

Now that GECOM is fully constituted the party expects that it will commence its work immediately in preparation for Local Government Elections in 2018 and Regional and General Elections in 2020.

The AFC holds GECOM to the highest standards of electoral integrity and will stridently challenge any threats to the preservation of our democracy.

Finally, the AFC strongly condemns the Opposition Leader for his reckless and unpatriotic stance of non-cooperation and civil disobedience and the party will hold him personally accountable for the consequences of any civil unrest which may ensue.

 

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