Diaspora condemns President Granger’s unilateral appointment of GECOM Chair

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…signals support for legal challenge to overturn decision

The Association of Concerned Guyanese (ACG) group in the United States has joined with other pro-democracy activists to condemn President David Granger’s decision to unilaterally appoint the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

President David Granger swearing in Justice (Retd) James Patterson to the post of GECOM Chairman last Thursday night

“In an unprecedented move, President Granger abandoned the Carter/Price formula that was implemented for the 1992 elections whereby the President would appoint a Chairman from a list submitted by the Leader of the Opposition. We, therefore call upon the Carter Center and other advocates who are committed to democracy to raise their voices and call upon President Granger to rescind his appointment and to appoint a Chairman from the lists submitted by the Leader of the Opposition. The ACG-USA is well aware that at least one of the individuals nominated by the Leader of the Opposition included the name of a former Chairman of GECOM who we have to conclude met the constitutional and “fit and proper” requirements,” the ACG group in the US said in a statement.

“We also note that President Granger foisted his interpretation of the constitution on the people of Guyana rather than adhering to the decision handed down by the Chief Justice (ag.)

“The ACG-USA can recall the difficult struggles for over 20 years to restore democracy in Guyana. But by then the economy was damaged and Guyana was deemed as the poorest country in the western hemisphere. There is no way we are going backwards. We stand with the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in its struggle to reverse President’s decision. We stand ready with the Bar Association and other forces in launching a legal challenge to overturn this decision.”

The diaspora group also declared that its members “stand by all democratic forces to ensure that we do not return to the dark days of dictatorship.”

The Guyanese diaspora group said it “will continue to engage the leaders in Washington to join us in our efforts to keep Guyana free from sliding backwards”.

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