Carter Formula cannot be easily consigned to dustbin

Dear Editor,

At his recently held press conference, President Granger blithely claimed that the Carter Formula for the Chairman of GECOM has outlived its efficacy and should be replaced by some amorphous, ‘I don’t know what’ ‘You guess what’ ‘ who knows what’ body. (smh!)

Like the Luddites of the 19th century who destroyed machines because they believed the machines threatened their ‘good life’ Mr. Granger now wants to destroy a formula that threatens his good life since it was put there with a view to delivering free and fair elections.

The Carter Formula is not a piece of scrap paper that could easily be assigned to the dustbin of history. It is a serious, well thought out and consensual formula entrenched in our Constitution having been unanimously passed in the National Assembly of the Parliament of Guyana.

Perhaps Mr. Granger loathes a parliament in which he has a shaky one-seat majority. As a consequence, he has blissfully concluded that by ridding himself of the Carter Formula he could secure his ‘get out of jail card’ thus allowing him the luxury to conjure up fanciful images of a parliamentary make up reminiscent of his alter ego, comrade Forbes Burnham a/k the ‘Kabaka.’

Mr. Granger obviously couldn’t care less whether his predecessors, Desmond Hoyte and Robert Corbin saw the wisdom in sticking to the Carter Formula for six consecutive elections. But herein lies the paradox, while the Formula, because of the delicate balance in its application made the PNC lose several elections, the same formula’s application made him, with his APNU jalopy win in 2015!

Thus the question: ‘Where’s the beef?’

For the President to claim, with an air of self-confidence, that the Carter Formula has become an anachronism and portends for gridlock is to be obtuse to the extent of being deceptive.

How the President will succeed in extirpating 161 (2) from the Constitution of the Republic referencing the Carter Formula and replacing it with something, which he so boastfully claims should mirror what obtains in other Constitutional bodies is anybody’s guess.

There is one danger. Should the Court rule against Granger’s fit and proper appointee it would mean a repeat of the entire long, drawn out process a la Granger to find and agree on a ‘real, real’ fit and proper person.

Moreover, should there be gridlock as Granger suggested, it would mean amending the constitution to change the entire process. That too envisages a long, drawn out process a la Granger. In both scenarios, postponement of elections in 2020 should not be ruled out.

Shades of similar postponements under Burnham and Hoyte which extended the lives of their respective governments.

In Granger’s case, his eyes are beyond 2020 when the revenues from oil and gas will be bountiful enough to placate their supporters and to do as they are told.

Guyanese at home and abroad: stay tuned.

Yours faithfully,

Clement Rohee

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