Guyana is replete with a kind of formalism that requests that we accept almost without question the possibility of actually compartmentalizing appropriate but conflicting moral roles, i.e. if a behaviour is logically possible once a claim is made that it exists, unless proven otherwise, it does! Successive governments have packed constitutionally-declared independent positions in the public service with high, even active, party officials and supporters and require that we accept that at the drop of a hat, these persons can easily manoeuvre between partiality and independence, when a mere glance at their behaviour cannot fail to indicate that to accept this construct would be at best unadulterated naivety.
Recently this approach raised its head with the appointment of the chair of the Guyana Elections Commission and the employment of Ms. Roxanne Prince-Myers as the deputy chief election officer. The appointment of the commission chairman is the more interesting case but I need to say a word about Ms. Prince-Myers. To counter accusations that since she had strongly supported the present regime during the last elections, she should not be considered sufficiently impartial for the position she now holds, she requested that ‘the judgment of my professional career, that should be the test for me, that should be the standard bearer, my professional career.’ Yet I doubt very much that if she was on trial for her life, she would have tolerated any juror who wrote unflattering things about her on similar grounds! More likely her attorney would have been protesting implied bias and demanding that ‘justice must not only be done but be seen to be done.’….