– “Appointment contradicts Ramotar’s contention that appointments are on meritorious grounds”- Ramjattan
By Kiana Wilburg
Leader of the Opposition coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Mr. David Granger, is adamant that “Carol Sooba who was appointed as Town Clerk is unqualified, unsuited and unwanted by the majority of the members of the City Council.”
The Opposition Leader made this assertion at a press conference held yesterday at his Office on
Hadfield Street, Georgetown.
The Member of Parliament said that the national capital requires ‘special skills’. Granger is also of the firm belief that the administration of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is being deliberately provocative in pursuing an appointment which is unwanted by the Council.
He said that evidence suggests that Sooba is not suitable for the position as he reminded members of the media corps of the recent floods which placed the city at a standstill.
He said that the blame for the floods not only falls on the shoulders of the central government but also on Sooba as she had suspended the work of some of the solid waste contractors prior to the floods.
Granger described Sooba’s management style as “a recipe for another environmental calamity because she is not capable of winning the confidence and support of members of the Council.”
He also stressed on the fact that the Guyana Local Government Officers Union (GLGOU) has threatened to take industrial action and other measures if she (Sooba) is not removed from the post in 72 hours.
Meanwhile, Attorney at Law, Mr. Joseph Harmon who also functions as the Shadow Minister of Public Works and Telecommunications, said his party supports the call of the union for the Town Clerk’s removal and if this avenue is exhausted then legal action should be explored.
Mayor Hamilton Green in a letter published yesterday in this publication referred to the action of the Ministry of Local Government as a, “dent on the decency and a denial on democracy…”
Whilst Green congratulated Ms. Sooba on her appointment, he said that the action can be “likened to that of the Emperor Caligula who had appointed his horse as Consul of Rome.”
However ,Minister of the Local Government, Mr. Ganga Persaud at a press conference yesterday defended the appointment of Sooba as he expressed she is the best suited candidate for the post.
When pressed by members of the media fraternity to share what criterion was used to deem her “best suited,” the Minister avoided the question and maintained that he is satisfied with the decision. He also dismissed calls for her removal.
Speaking to Ganga’s refusal to remove Sooba, Ramjattan and Mr. Harmon asserted that the Minister “needs to get his head examined.”
“The Minister seriously needs to get his head examined. Is he out of his mind? He needs to state what makes her the best candidate for the post.” Harmon stressed
Ramjattan described the recent developments as not only despicable but also politically insulting and an action which carries with it, racial undertones.
“Her appointment is not only obnoxious but contradicts President Donald Ramotar’s contention that his government issues all appointments on meritorious grounds. It is also very discriminatory and vindicates what Mr. Freddie Kissoon had written about.”
The Kaieteur News columnist was sued by former President Bharrat Jagdeo for allegedly making defamatory remarks made against him.
Ramjattan expressed that Sooba’s appointment shows that government continues to exercise political power in an ideologically racist manner.
And, yesterday, a letter signed by representatives of the law firm Hughes, Fields & Stoby was dispatched to Local Government Minister Persaud on behalf of former Mayor Ranwell Jordon which urged the immediate recall of the appointment of Sooba.
The letter articulated that the criterion which was supposed to be used by the interviewing panel was in an effort to ascertain the best qualified and suited person for the position.
However, after several interviews and deliberations, Mr. Clarke was identified as the best qualified and suited candidate but the panel’s decision was disregarded as Sooba instead, was appointed.
“We are instructed to inform you that your actions are contrary, not only to the legitimate expectations of our clients and the candidates but amounts to an abuse of the powers of your office…we are obligated to inform you as we hereby do that your failure to abide with this request will result in our clients pursuing such action as they shall be advised to secure the revocation of the aforementioned appointment”
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