There has been a violation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution. The AFC cannot justify such a violation by asserting that it “averts a looming crisis”. The AFC should know this is a ridiculous excuse; as one SN blogger says: “two wrongs don’t make a right”.
Why is it so hard to follow the procedures laid down by the Constitution? The President claims that none of 18 named persons on three separately submitted lists satisfies his criteria. What are his criteria? A retired judge or someone who qualifies to be a judge. The High Court has specifically ruled against this strange and specious interpretation. Many of the named persons possess character, academic qualifications, and professional work experience beyond reproach. One list also included the name Joe Singh, a retired army general who previously served impeccably as Gecom chairman. On what basis could he be disqualified?
President Granger ran a charade all these months. Reasonable Guyanese people at home and abroad have long suspected that he wanted to appoint someone who would do his bidding, hence his spurious reasons for rejecting list after list. The Opposition Leader kept submitting new lists hoping Mr Granger would find favour with at least one name, and fulfil the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Of course, it was never on the cards. There are other issues here, issues of winning the confidence of the Guyanese people that future elections will be free and fair. Didn’t the ruling PNC run massively fraudulent elections in 1968, 1973, 1980, 1985? And the PNC never apologized for those frauds.
This singular act of President Granger can only deepen the racial divide of this nation and exacerbate the fears about another fraudulent election. President Granger has brought dishonour to himself and his office. It is not that I or the Guyanese public want to impugn his motives about the months-long charade he ran just so he can appoint an 84-year-old Judge.
These are serious issues the AFC must deal with. Their rush to issue a half-baked statement that makes no sense whatsoever only tarnishes their reputation further. Where is the wisdom in bypassing the Constitution so that an 84-year-old man can be appointed to Gecom? This man is already employed as an advisor to the government.
President Granger and his government care nothing about the Constitution, nor about racial and social cohesion, nor about allaying the fears of future fraudulent elections. President Granger does not appear to understand the meaning of constitutional democracy. And the AFC has made it plain: they are only interested in buttering their own toast.