…as New GECOM Commissioner sworn in
By Ramona Luthi
Desmond Hugh Trotman of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) –a smaller party within the coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)- was on Friday sworn in as the new Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) at the State House.
President of Guyana, David Granger has deemed Trotman to be the “most experienced” while noting that he is “fit and proper” for the position.
He also expressed confidence that the new GECOM Commissioner will act in accordance to his mandate.
In an interview with media operatives after being sworn in, Trotman said that he is conforming to his new position as “a Guyanese representing the interests of the people of Guyana.”
Probed as to whether he believes that his additional responsibility as an employee of the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) proves to be a conflict of interest, Trotman responded in the negative.
“I entered within the Elections Commissions’ legislation… but if it is [conflict of interest], I am willing to step down…I looked at the law up to last night after speaking with the President…but if [a] wiser council [makes] a suggestions or some advice that I am not eligible for the position, certainly [I will] step down,” he said.
Meanwhile, co-founder and current leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC) [the second largest party within the coalition Government], Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman feels that Desmond Trotman being appointed is an “injustice” to his party.
“We are entirely disappointed in the process and that once again the AFC feels that an injustice has been meted out to it,” he told media operatives this morning.
Further, the Minister acknowledged that his party being side-lined is an “on-going saga,” while reiterating that the AFC is “deeply disturbed” and “disappointed.”
“We have been promised the position for some time and we had really hoped that having been seen as a worthy partner of the Coalition we would be seen as worthy to name one of our ranks to the position,” he explained.
Moreover, he asserted that the Executives of the AFC will be meeting soon to “look at a likely response” to the situation.
“We will be meeting soon to make a response, over the weekend, the latest.”
Nevertheless, having been affiliated with the WPA member, the Minister expressed confidence that the new GECOM Commissioner will be a strong fighter for principle.
The AFC had nominated one of its members, former Member of Parliament, Trevor Williams for the post of Commissioner at the GECOM following the death of Sandra Jones.
However, a media advisory from the Ministry of the Presidency had disclosed that Granger has selected one of his party’s own.
AFC Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan on Thursday had confirmed reports that his party had nominated Williams for the post.
He had also noted that the AFC, as a third party, has always pressed to have one of its members sit on the body, highlighting that this was mainly on account of the fact that the party had representation in Parliament where at one time it held five seats and another time it had seven seats.
Williams has been active in politics since 2006 and at one time headed the youth arm of the AFC. He was suggested to be Director of Youth, but was never appointed to that position.
Ramjattan had said that should the President for some reason not find favour with Williams, there is Beverley Alert, a former spokesperson for the AFC party, who will be the alternative nominee.
The GECOM post would have been a key one for the party. The Commission comprises three members from the Opposition and three from the Government. The Chairman is the seventh person.