Diplomatic community cautiously ‘observing’ GECOM process

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The international community is paying keen attention to the public furore that has erupted over the unilateral appointment of retired Justice James Patterson by Head of State, President David Granger, who, in the process, snubbed the 18 persons nominated by Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo.

Indian High Commissioner Venkatachalam Mahalingam

The unpopular decision by the President has led to widespread condemnation from sections of civil society, including the religious and business communities.

US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, in brief remarks earlier this week, told this media group that he would reserve full comments after completely reviewing the process, but remarked that it was a process that must be owned by Guyanese.

“I will have some comments on that [the appointment] when I understand it better,” he noted.

When questioned over his assessment of the democratic process surrounding the appointment, the US Ambassador suggested that locals should be the ones to assess what was transpiring.

US Ambassador Perry Holloway

“I’m watching it in action; Guyanese should be assessing it,” Holloway stated.

Another key bilateral partner is India, whose High Commissioner Venkatachalam Mahalingam, while also being cautious in his disclosures, noted that his country too was observing the activities that were following the controversial appointment.

“We are seeing the process that is taking place, and we are closely observing what is happening and what kind of debate is going on regarding the appointment of the GECOM (Chairman),” High Commissioner Mahalingam told this publication on Tuesday during the United Nations Day activity in Guyana.

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