Nov 25, 2017 News
…AFC says injustice done to ignore party’s nominee
“My judgment prevails, Mr. Trotman is the fittest person… you can’t fake experience” – President Granger
The Alliance For Change (AFC), a major partner of the coalition Government is reeling after President David Granger swore–in former Member of Parliament, Desmond Trotman, as the newest Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) yesterday at State House.
AFC leader, Raphael Trotman told reporters that he was informed by the President prior to the swearing-in ceremony that Desmond Trotman would replace Sandra Jones who passed away on Sunday last. The AFC had named former MP, Trevor Williams, to replace Jones, and Beverly Alert as an alternative to Williams.
Trotman stated that the AFC is deeply disturbed and disappointed that it was not chosen again to name the replacement Commissioner which is an ongoing saga for at least eight years between the parties that comprise the coalition.
“We had been promised the position for some time and we had really hoped that having seen as a worthy partner in the coalition; that we would be seen as worthy to name one of our ranks to the position,” Trotman stated.
The AFC admires the work done by Mr. (Desmond) Trotman, a member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA). According to the AFC Leader, Trotman is a strong fighter for principle and will no doubt serve well.
The AFC leader maintained, “We are entirely disappointed in the process that once again the AFC feels that an injustice has been meted out to it.”
The AFC noted that given the acknowledgement that 65 percent of the electorate is under the age of 40 years, the appointment 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,” the AFC stated.
Following the swearing-in of the new GECOM commissioner, President Granger addressed the AFC’s concerns head-on, telling the press corps at State House that the coalition comprises six parties and each was asked to make a nomination. In the end, the President opted for the WPA nominee.
“My judgment prevails and I am empowered under the Constitution to exercise my judgment on this matter. I believe that when all of the nominees are looked at, Mr. Trotman is the fittest person,” the President outlined.
According to President Granger, all parties that are in the coalition must be consulted, since every party in the Coalition is represented in the National Assembly. He maintained that Trotman was best suited for the post based on his vast experience.
“You can’t fake experience,” President Granger stated.
GOING AS A GUYANESE
Following the ceremony, Trotman attended the first meeting of the GECOM Commission held yesterday by Chairman, Justice James Patterson (ret’d). Trotman said that he is joining GECOM as a “Guyanese first “and encouraged fellow Commissioners not to think along party lines.
“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 would hope that the Commissioners on the other side would take the same position,” Trotman outlined.
He said that he brings the experience garnered over 30 years and the value in keeping with the President’s wishes of the Commission ensuring there are free and fair elections.
Trotman faced questions about a potential conflict of interest over his position as Commissioner and his current employment in State Asset Recovery Agency (SARA). He purported to have checked and found nothing to indicate that conflict of interest arises, although he is prepared to give up the SARA job if advised differently.
“I believe both jobs as being important. In this particular phase that we are in it is important that the Commission advances,” Trotman stated.
Trotman joins Commission coalition representatives, Vincent Alexander and Charles Corbin. The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Commissioners are Robeson Benn, Bibi Shadick and Sase Gunraj.
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