PSC fires back …says “disgraceful, offensive, behaviour” by Govt-aligned Commissioner has no place at GECOM

PSC Chairman Capt. Gerry Gouveia
File: Desmond Hugh Trotman being sworn in as a GECOM Commissioner 

Desmond Trotman, a Government-nominated Commissioner on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), has come under fire for labelling the Private Sector Commission (PSC) as “partisan” and politically motivated.

In a statement to the media on Monday, the PSC condemned Trotman’s statement and called on the relevant authorities in Government to ensure appropriate consequences are meted out against him.

In fact, the Private Sector umbrella body noted that there is no place for such behaviour at GECOM. “The organisation has never engaged in conduct that could be construed as racist or bigoted,” the PSC said.

“We condemn the recent overt racist attack of a Government-appointed GECOM Commissioner on the person of the PSC’s elected Chairman. This disgraceful, extremely offensive and defamatory behaviour has no place in GECOM or a democratic society. We would expect the Government to take the appropriate action with regard to Mr Trotman’s attack on the integrity and good name of the PSC Chairman.”

PSC Chairman Captain Gerry Gouveia

The PSC, headed by Captain Gerald Gouveia, represents 26 business organisations and 29 of the largest companies in Guyana. These firms pay 82 per cent of the total income and corporation taxes to Government and employ thousands of Guyanese, the PSC explained.

The Commission is known for speaking out against certain issues affecting the country, including political matters which ultimately affect the investment climate and the business community.

In recent times, the PSC has been urging all political players to abide by the Guyana Constitution and had called out President David Granger for failing to do so.

Moreover, the PSC called for the scrapping of the House-to-House Registration exercise, an activity it believed was in violation of the Guyana Constitution and the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

The organisation’s stance on these issues is what led the Government Commission to accuse its membership of being close confidants of Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who shares similar opinions on these matters.

But the PSC pointed out that its membership comprises of persons of all ethnic and religious backgrounds, and that it has always played a role in standing up for what is right for the country.

“The PSC has a long history of working for electoral democracy going back to 1992 and including official accreditation from 2001 onwards. GECOM’s reports would show that we have been involved in critical discussions and resolution of issues over the years,” the organisation highlighted.

It called on political leaders and party activists to respect its role and rights.

Furthermore, the PSC noted noted that the business community does not only have a democratic right to participate in the political processes of the country but also a constitutional right enshrined under Article 13 of the Constitution of Guyana.