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Opposition youth activist mounts legal challenge to Director of Youth’s appointment; govt denies Trevor Williams gets the nod

Trevor Williams

Even as an executive member of the youth arm of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Monday mounted a legal challenge to the appointment of Trevor Williams as Director of Youth, the Ministry of Education announced that it has not been appointed.

Junior Education Minister, responsible for the Department of Culture, Youth and Sport, Nicolette Henry,  was quoted by the Government Information Agency (GINA) as saying that Williams has not been appointed as Director of Youth, but is among others being considered for the post.

“Director of Youth, that position has not been filled as yet… They are currently going through interviews and I understand that Mr. Trevor Williams is being considered at this time,” she told a news conference held at the Department, (formerly Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport) on Main Street.

Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO) Executive Member, Saleesha Gafoor of 322 Hope East, East Coast Demerara said in court papers seen by Demerara Waves Online News that Williams’ appointment was not done by the independent constitutional body, the Public Service Commission (PSC) and so he was merely squatting on the post.

“The said Trevor Williams is therefore a usurper and a trespasser in the office of Director of Youth, a public office in the pensionable establishment of the Public Service of Guyana, and which falls within the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport,” she states through her lawyer, Anil Nandlall.

Williams is a candidate for the governing A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition.

Gafoor further wants Chief Justice Ian Chang to consider her claim that Williams was unqualified and inexperienced for the position of Director of Sport because the office holder must have a Masters or Bachelors Degree in Social Work with several years experience including a number in sport.

The PYO executive member moved to the court after, according to her, checking with the PSC to ascertain whether the vacancy was filled based on advertisement for the vacancy on March 23, 2015.

While the Junior Minister of Education says that Williams, an AFC executive member, is merely being considered for the post of Director of Youth, Gafoor is basing her contention that Williams was quoted in sections of the media as holding himself out to be that office-holder.

Gafoor wants the High Court to compel Williams to produce to the High Court a warrant of appointment and authority by which he holds the said office, unless sufficient cause is shown why the said Order or Rule Nisi of Quo Warranto should not be made absolute ousting him from that office.