“Political mischief” by “political opponents”- AFC on leaked email about GECOM Chairmanship

Last Updated on Monday, 20 November 2017, 20:46 by Denis Chabrol

The Alliance For Change (AFC) headquarters in Guyana on Monday stopped short of openly criticising its chapter in Canada, only saying that the circulation of internal email on the appointment of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was the work of “political opponents”.

“The Alliance For Change notes the circulation of documents on social media purporting to be internal emails of the party. The AFC notes the political mischief being attempted in this regard by political opponents. While there is need for confidentiality in discussions from time to time the party is confident in and proud of its track record of open, frank and forthright discussion on issues and as the email in question confirms, robust internal exchange of information and ideas on critical matters,” the AFC said in a statement.

The AFC at the same time insisted that it played no role in President David Granger’s unilateral appointment of Retired Justice James Patterson. “The party restates its position, and the email confirms this, that it was not consulted on the appointment of Justice James Patterson as GECOM Chairman.”

In a separate statement on the outcome of its National Executive Committee (NEC) held on Monday, November 20, 2017, the AFC reiterated its support for  Patterson’s appointment. “The NEC formally endorsed the party’s decision to lend support to the decision of President David Granger in appointing Justice James Patterson as GECOM Chairman,” the party said.

Chairman of AFC (Canada), Tameshwar  Lilmohan and its General Secretary, Laurence Williams have in the past few weeks announced that their chapter has temporarily withdrawn from the party until it denounces President David Granger’s unilateral appointment of Retired Justice James Patterson.

After the AFC stated twice that it played no role in the process, Williams disclosed two sections of an e-mail in which party Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan had advised the President that if he did not like Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo’s second list of nominees he would have been within his constitutional right to appoint someone unilaterally.

In clear reference to Ramjattan’s email to his party’s executive in which he had informed that he had concurred with the President’s view that he did not like the second list of nominees, the AFC said, “the party notes that this particular exchange occurred after the second list of candidates for GECOM Chairman was presented to President David Granger and only with reference to the powers of the President to make an appointment outside of a submitted list if he deemed such a list to be unacceptable.”

The AFC noted that President Granger “acted in his own deliberate judgement and within the provision of the constitution” only after the Opposition Leader had presented a third list.