The position taken by the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) on the unilateral appointment by President Granger of a GECOM Chair is at best disappointing, and at worst a betrayal of the legacy of its founder leader, the late Dr. Walter Rodney.
It would have served the WPA much better had it remained silent on the issue rather than sheepishly trying to justify what is clearly a departure from the accepted and democratic method of appointing a GECOM Chair since the Carter Formula was introduced in the early 1990’s.
It is worth recalling that prior to 1992 the Chairman of the Elections Commission was handpicked by the President and was expected, and did in fact, rule in favour of the ruling party on crucial electoral matters such as overseas, proxy and postal voting all of which were heavily stacked in favour of the PNC. Indeed, the PNC obtained 98% of the overseas and an overwhelming number of the proxy and postal votes which was highly improbable given voting trends in all elections prior to 1964.
It is in the above context that a politically independent and non-partisan Chairman of the Elections Commission brokered by President Carter has to be situated. It was intended to be a confidence-building measure in the credibility and integrity of the Elections Commission in particular and the electoral process as a whole.
For the WPA to lend its support to a process which is fundamentally flawed is a clear indication that the current leadership of the WPA is prepared to sacrifice the rich legacy of its founder leader Dr. Walter Rodney on the altar of political opportunism.
The political DNA of the WPA is undergoing a metamorphosis. Exactly what it will morph into remains to be seen but one thing is certain and that is that the working class and democratic orientation of the party is no longer there.