I have noted letters in the media from ACDA and an organization purported to be representing Rastafarians in Guyana.
For the record, ACDA was invited by the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Bharrat Jagdeo to participate in the consultations with civic society seeking their views and proposed names for the post of Chairman of GECOM in keeping with the constitutional provisions.
ACDA was invited to attend the March 20, 2017 and June 26, 2017 consultations; unfortunately they had been inadvertently left out from the first one held on December 1, 2016. This was corrected and they were invited to the other consultations. ACDA did not send any representatives to either of the meetings. Nor did ACDA submit names as all the civil society bodies were invited to do whether they actually attended or not. In fact, a number of organizations, despite not attending, used the opportunity to submit their nominees.
ACDA was again invited to attend the Leader of the Opposition’s meeting with civil society on October 25, 2017, and again, ACDA did not attend.
Surely ACDA could have used its voice to promote names who, in its opinion, were `fit and proper persons’ to hold the chairmanship of GECOM. It failed to do so. Therefore, its race-laced assault on the PPP/C and the 18 eminent persons whose names were submitted to the President has relegated ACDA, as an organization that is clearly misled by some of its leaders, who are well paid employees of the government as advisors, and, for being wantonly irresponsible and divisive. A reputation l am sure some of the ACDA members I know do not wish to have.
The Rastafarian Council has had cordial and constructive engagements with the PPP/C in government in all of the National Stakeholders Forum chaired by President Jagdeo and President Ramotar. This has continued with the PPP/C as the Parliamentary Opposition in this and other consultations, and, in this instance on the appointment of a Chairman of GECOM. The Council sent a representative to the previous consultations and as recent as the October 25, 2016 meeting with the Leader of the Opposition.
We do not know of the new group speaking on behalf of the Rastafarian community.
Gail Teixeira, MP