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AFC disappointed Elections Commissioner is not “youth” or woman” but Granger banks on “experience”

Desmond Trotman receiving his instrument of appointment as Elections Commissioner from President David Granger at State House on Friday, November 24, 2017.

The Alliance For Change (AFC) is disappointed that President David Granger did not select its nominee for appointment as an Elections Commissioner, but the Guyanese leader said he selected Working People’s Alliance (WPA) executive member, Desmond Trotman because of his experience.

The AFC was noticeably absent from Trotman’s swearing in at State House, but the President said they are not required to send representatives. He replaces the recently deceased Sandra Jones who had been nominated by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) in 2012.

AFC Leader, Raphael Trotman said his party was disappointed that former parliamentarian, Trevor Williams or his alternate Beverley Alert was not selected to sit on the seven-member elections management authority. “We are entirely disappointed in the process and that once again the AFC feels that an injustice has been meted out to it,”  he told reporters on Friday.

The AFC later said in a statement that, “further, acknowledging that 65% of the electorate is under the age of 40 years, the AFC believes that the appointment of the GECOM commissioner should have taken this salient point into consideration. In this regard, the rank and file members of the AFC have expressed reservation about the appointment and were expecting the new commissioner to be a youth or a woman as was proposed by the party”. Against that background, the AFC said that reinforces the need for the political agreement named the almost three-year old Cummmingsburg Accord to be revised.

Raphael Trotman, a co-founder of the AFC, suggested that the People’s National Congress Reform- dominated APNU has broken its promise on having an AFC nominee sit as a GECOM Commissioner.
“We have been promised the position for some time and we had really hoped that having been seen as a worthy partner of the Coalition we would be seen as worthy to name one of our ranks to the position,” he said

President Granger, for his part, told reporters that “my judgement prevails” and he was constitutionally empowered to pick Desmond Trotman from among the nominees coming from each of the six parties in the governing coalition including the PNCR. “Experience, you can’t fake experience,” he said in reference to Desmond Trotman.

Elections Commissioner Trotman said he has over 30 years of experience in electoral matters. “As you may know, I have interfaced with the Commission at different levels and so I think I bring some value to the work of the Commission,” he said. He further remarked that in keeping with President Granger’s wishes for a free and fair elections, his contributions would be important.

Asked why he did not ask APNU and AFC to each submit one nominee rather than ask the five under APNU and AFC to submit individual nominees, the President said “I feel that all parties, which are in the coalition, must be consulted. Every party in the coalition is represented in the National Assembly and that is how I do my business. I consult with everyone,” he said.

The Elections Commissioner said he would be sitting on the GECOM Commission as a Guyanese representing national rather than partisan interest. “I am going there as a Guyanese representing the interest of the people of Guyana and  I would hope that the other members of the Commission will assume that same posture. I believe that the Commissioners representing the government side will understand the importance of adopting a position that advances the interest of the nation and I will hope that the Commissioners on the other side will take the same position,” he said.

The government-nominated commissioners are Charles Corbin, Desmond Trotman and Vincent Alexander. The opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic-aligned commissioners are Bibi Shaddick, Robeson Benn and Sase Gunraj.

  • Yannick23

    Disappointment and snubbing, AFC you all ain’t see nothing yet. The bulk is yet to come and it is going to be all ballz so prepare to grab and keep because that is all you are going to get..

  • Yannick23

    Man oh man I am so happy for you all in the AFC. I am so proud I voted for you all too but never again. Is power hungry get you all so. But one thing I will say you all deserve what you are getting because of the ungratefulness you neemakharam have displayed to we the people who voted for you all. Buss them ballz Granger, buss them up.

    • VictorAustin

      your last sentence have me rolling, you make my day. bigman yho nah easy.

  • Col123

    The AFC is behahaving like nagging spousal partners in bed with the PNC…they need to realize that they are now part of the PNC family, regardless if in separate beds!….It’s just unnecessary noises keeping the otherwise unoccupied Jaggie, listening and peeking…

  • Patriot

    No one in the AFC leadership is surprised that they were rebuffed. They knew this would happen.All the protestations by Mr. Trotman is for public consumption. They had to put out some kind of face to make it appear that they are surprised and upset.

    ‘That the AFC is now a foot rag of the PNC’ is clear to the people who will be voting,

    The AFC leadership has done this bait and switch from day one. They were very convincing with the lofty rhetoric, and reaped a lot of political rewards.

    A new Accord? Really? what about reading the one that is there and living by it as a start? This talk of a new negotiation is again.. just posturing for public consumption. No matter what is written and signed, these guys are now fully in the PNC hold, and cannot stand up. They have niohig left to stand on.

    They think they can just keep playing the same tricks and that people will keep buying it.. they are wrong! they are finished!!!

  • Lancelot Brassington

    Mr Granger is doing strange things. The elections commission already has Patterson and Shadick and what does he do? He appoints elderly gentleman Desmond Trotman. If we live by the belief that experience trumps everything then we are in fact stating that those who already know must continue to know or even learn more, while those that do not know will never be able to learn anything. Is Granger swearing for Trotmans nimbleness of mind. Is he certain that it will be intact in twelve or even six months’ time. What about diligence, enthusiasm, talent, energy, aptitude? Don’t these count for anything? Or is Granger hitting back at the AFC for recently stating that they wanted the Cummingsburgh Accord to be revisited? It is hard to believe that this is the same guy who wanted the ‘old’ officers (those in their mid to late forties) expelled from the army because they were supposedly obstacles to the upward mobility of the young officers (like Granger) back in the early seventies. Could it be that belated guilt is distorting the way Granger thinks? He certainly seems to be partial to elderly guys these days, and public opinion be damned.
    Somebody has to have a talk with Granger, even if he becomes angry. The AFC must be given some respect and be seen to have influence or it will damage the AFC and by extension the coalition. You cannot damage one without damaging the other.
    Granger needs to start making more rational decisions because his closest associates could do a ‘Mugabe’ on him if they feel that the general interest is being damaged. Mugabe never thought he could end up where he is today. I rest my case.

    • Col123

      Bro… you spend all that time dicing the mindset of a person, who had the unique opportunity to bring this country together and move it forward…..only to take it back to the sixties in less than two years…. spend some time watching Trevor Noah…. his comedy will be worth your time!

  • rs dasai

    Not growing pains, delivery pains with no OBGYN on staff.

  • Col123

    e gon dead and leave it too…with a curse…and not enjoying it with all you folks washing you mouth pan what the chap thief…