As the national newspaper, Chronicle should be concerned that every major stakeholder has condemned President’s GECOM decision as unconstitutional

 

Dear Editor,

I read with amusement, yesterday’s Guyana Chronicle’s blazing headline, ‘Nandlall caught lying’. It is a classic exhibition of juvenile journalistic spinning. A singular statement is plucked out of an over 2000 words interview, which I did with the Stabroek News published on Monday (October 23, 2017) and that becomes the focus of an entire article.

My information is that the advisors to the Attorney General are paid $800,000 each per month. This information came from the mouth of one of those very advisors. It was said in the presence of over 10 distinguished professionals over the weekend at a prestigious establishment in the City. Why that advisor would lie remains a mystery to me. Why would Justice Claudette Singh seek to defend Mr. James Patterson also remains a mystery to me. If Justice Singh and Mr. Patterson are not receiving $800,000 per month then I would respectfully suggest that they pursue this matter diligently with the Administration. On its face, it appears to smack of discrimination.

But seriously, is that what the Chronicle is really concerned about? Is the Chronicle not concerned:

  1. about the unilateral unconstitutional appointment of an 84-year-old Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM)?
  2. that in making this appointment, the President violated his own criteria and misled this nation when he said that he will only appoint a Chairman of GECOM through a collaborative process with the Leader of the Opposition?
  3. that the President misled this nation when he laid down criteria in relation to a suitable candidate, for example, that the person must not have any connection, “apparent or hidden” to any political party; and that the person must not be a religious activist/leader and then the President violates those very criteria by appointing a person who is employed by his Government and is a Reverend?
  4. that Mr. Justice Patterson asserts on his CV that he was the Chief Justice of Grenada in 1987, when the records reflect that Mr. Justice Sir Samuel Horatio Graham was Chief Justice of Grenada from 1987-1990?
  5. that Mr. Justice Patterson cannot be independent or appear to be independent or impartial, having regard to the fact that he is an advisor to the AG; that he was appointed by the President to Chair a Presidential COI into the Prison fires in 2016; that he sits on a committee appointed by the President to review applications for Chief Justice and Chancellor of the Judiciary; that he was appointed by the President as an advisor to the President on the Committee of the Prerogative of Mercy; that he was a pall bearer at a PNC funeral service of Mr. Desmond Hoyte at which the other pall bearers were relatives of Mr. Hoyte, known leaders, activists and supporters of the PNC; that he is a member of a Facebook group calling themselves ‘Rally Around The PNC’?
  6. that the President was advised that Mr. Patterson was not the Chief Justice of Grenada in 1987, but yet proceeds to appoint him and then cites Mr. Patterson’s appointment as Chief Justice of Grenada as the basis for appointing him?

All of the above-mentioned information was contained in the very interview from which the Chronicle plucked that singular sentence. Is the Chronicle not concerned about these issues of national public importance?

Additionally, is the Chronicle not concerned that the President made this decision to appoint Mr. Patterson Chairman of GECOM without even consulting his own coalition partners in Government, to wit, the rubber stamp AFC and the WPA, both of whom came out with Public Statements confirming that they were not consulted?

Is the Chronicle not concerned that almost every major stakeholder organisation in Guyana has condemned the President’s decision as “unconstitutional”, “politically senseless”, “wrong”, “perverse”, “void”, etc.?

As the national newspaper of this country, the Chronicle and those who commandeer it should be ashamed of themselves. The article is simply a most clumsy attempt at political propaganda.

I take comfort from the fact that no one takes the Guyana Chronicle seriously.

 

Yours faithfully,

Anil Nandlall

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