By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP), has expressed concern; opposing the appointment of Richard François as the Public Relations Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
According to the PPP, François is openly sympathetic and supports the political opposition. However, when quizzed, General Secretary Clement Rohee refused to say which Opposition party the Former Ministry of Education employee is aligned to.
He said for his Party to make such an allegation then its information must be solid; reiterating sentiments expressed in a prepared statement.
“The PPP is a responsible Party and we are not in the habit of just throwing things out there for mischief making. For us to make such a statement it must have been given very serious consideration.”
Rohee said that the PPP respects the right and freedom of employment but believes that “what is known of François’ background and political allegiance” could affect his professional and unbiased discharge of his duties.
“The PPP believes that his appointment runs counter to GECOM’s claims of appointing professionals,” Rohee added; imploring François that he can issue a personal statement clarifying his right to appointment if he so pleases.
His Party calls on GECOM to now explain the appointment “in the interest of ensuring fairness and professionalism.”
PPP says its concern is premised on incidents in the past which resulted in the lack of professionalism during 2011 elections where PPP candidates were prevented from executing their duties.
He recalled comments by GECOM Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Kieth Lowenfield where he had made it clear that the Commission only hire professionals and no one who is politically affiliated; saying that the appointment must be reexamined.
In 2010, François completed his Master of Arts (Honours) Degree from Middlesex University, London in the field of Marketing Communications. He attended the Dubai campus of the university.
Richard graduated from the University of Guyana in 2005 with a Degree in Communications.
He is the former Public Relations Officer (ag) of Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) who pioneered the Company’s first major and successful energy conservation campaign entitled ‘Switch it Off, Plug it Out!