The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) says it is of the view that the selection procedure used for the GECOM Chairman has followed the letter of the law and the constitution, if not the spirit. The WPA is a member of APNU, the main partner in the governing coalition.
A statement from the WPA follows:
The Working Peoples Alliance feels that the matter of the appointment of the chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission(GECOM) is a very important one that should not be used for partisan political grandstanding and settling scores. It goes to the heart of our democratic process and should be treated as such by all responsible political and social forces.
As a party, which participated in the process while in the opposition benches, WPA is fully aware of the patriotic responsibility that the success of the undertaking demands. Those who are charged with initiating the process have a duty to preserve its integrity.
It is the WPA’s considered opinion that the PPP intentionally set out to compromise the spirit of the process with the hope of using the outcome to embarrass the government and further its own partisan agenda.
WPA respects the right and civic responsibility of citizens and their organizations to interpret and challenge the president’s action from both a constitutional and a political standpoint—that is part of the democratic environment which our party has always struggled to uphold. But we warn against falling into the trap that is being set by the PPP and its allies.
Against this background, the WPA wishes to advance the following positions.
- There was never going to be a good outcome to the appointment of the GECOM Chair without prior Constitutional Reform. This could be proven true for all appointments that require President/Leader of Opposition agreement.
- WPA did not and indeed could not, participate in the selection process as of right since the Constitution confines this selection, effectively to a President/Leader of Opposition procedure.
- Our fundamental political position is not to be ensnared by PPP/C, on principle, in any form, guise, or manner, in their desperate efforts at revisionism/ historical rewriting/ opportunism/ and crude hypocrisy.
- It is our conviction that, on strict construction, the selection procedure used so far has followed the letter of the law and the constitution, if not the spirit. To be very clear, neither side is committed to a solution that is satisfactory to both. The political environment does not favour this. Further, their constituents who make up the bulk of the masses of Guyanese people, do not expect such an outcome.
- It is, however, politically important for the country that democratic forces do not allow the appointment of Justice Patterson to be read as a de facto depiction of the coalition’s collective intent to rig elections. This, from the WPA’s standpoint, is certainly not the case. Those who wish the coalition ill, would hope this becomes the normative public position, especially for activist Civil Society. While not everyone, there are clearly several rogues and charlatans who are deceptively promoting this false equivalence. Buyers beware!
- WPA publicly commits to the position that, if elections are not proceeding as ‘’free and fair’’, we would publicly withdraw from the Coalition, but would not on that support, the PPP/C in any guise whatsoever.
- The fallacious positions being peddled that James Patterson received $800,000 per month as advisor to the Minister of Legal Affairs when he was only being paid $20,000 and that he misrepresented that he was once Chief Justice of Grenada when evidence proves otherwise shows clearly that the tactic of the PPP is to mislead the public. It does so by framing a false narrative as the truth with the hope that the public would respond negatively to everything that the government is doing.
- The ad hominem attacks and character assassination of Justice Patterson know no bounds. His Christian belief and practice, age, paying last rites to a colleague and friend all are fair game, despite comparators on the lists submitted by the Leader of the Opposition. At least, no viral complaints have yet been made against him as a thief, abuser and scoundrel, for comparators to be drawn.