The American, British and Canadian governments, (referred to as the ABC countries), through their respective envoys in Guyana, have weighed in on the need for the judicial process and democratic norms to be followed in the appointment of the GECOM Chairman. This is most refreshing and bodes well for the future of democracy in Guyana.
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and any departure from the provisions of the constitution in the appointment of the GECOM Chairman must be of concern to all.
The PPP has mounted a legal challenge regarding the constitutionality of the President’s unilateral appointment of retired Judge James Patterson as Chairman of GECOM. A date for the hearing has already been set for November. All eyes are now focused on the Court’s ruling on the matter.
United States Ambassador Mr. Perry Holloway, like his British and Canadian counterparts, while staying clear of the controversy regarding the constitutionality of the appointment, has expressed the view that the Court is the place where the matter should be determined. The US Ambassador further urged that the matter be dealt with expeditiously.
The fact that there is convergence of thinking from all three of the major western powers is politically significant and indicative of a concern over the future of democracy in the country and the implications it could have in terms of political stability and social cohesion in the event of any attempt, real or imagined, to subvert the democratic fabric of this country.
Indeed, these western powers, more particularly the United States have a duty and a responsibility to find a political solution to what appears to be an emerging crisis in the country.
The United States has a long history of involvement in the political affairs of Guyana. It was highly instrumental in the return of democratic elections on October 5, 1992 through the Carter Center.
The preservation and consolidation of democracy in Guyana is everybody’s business including that of the United States and other western powers. I take this opportunity to commend your paper, the Stabroek News for the strong advocacy role it played, and continues to play in the democratic renewal of our beloved country.