Last Updated on Thursday, 22 December 2016, 23:00 by Denis Chabrol
The African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA) on Thursday called on President David Granger to discard Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo’s list of six nominees for the post of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) because no African Guyanese organisation has been consulted.
“The ACDA is consequently requesting that this list be firmly rejected until full and complete consultations are conducted with all groups representative of the diversity of Guyana’s population,” the organisation said in a statement.
ACDA’s call came almost one hour before the Ministry of the Presidency released a press statement quoting the Guyanese leader as saying that he has since formally asked Jagdeo to submit the curriculum vitae of the nominees.
ACDA disputed the Opposition Leader’s claim that he last month held broad-based consultations with civil society organisations including those representing labour, business, religion, youth and women. The 23-year old organisation noted that neither ACDA nor any other Afro-Guyanese organisation was consulted. “A comprehensive review of the list of stakeholders engaged would reveal the inaccuracy of this claim since the Leader of the Opposition has never consulted with ACDA or any other group representing the rights of the African Guyanese section of the population.”
Calling the failure to consult with such entities “evidence to the polarised approach to the consultation process” dating back to 1992, ACDA demanded that the Opposition Leader embarks on a fresh round of consultations to decide who would succeed Dr. Steve Surujbally as head of GECOM.
“The ACDA consequently demands that the leader of the PPPC consult fully with all interest groups so as to compile a new list of nominees reflective of the issues raised by all of civic society and not only those elements of civil society acceptable to the PPPC,” the organisation said.
The nominees include Rhyaan Shah, an East Indian rights activist; business executive, Ramesh Dookhoo; former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Retired Major General Norman Mc Lean; History Professor, James Rose; Governance and Conflict Resolution expert, Lawrence Lachmansingh and Attorney-at-Law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram.
The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) , Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana, Private Sector Commission are among those with which Jagdeo said he has consulted before submitting the names on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 to President Granger.