As the Opposition Leader’s non-cooperation campaign against the government begins, the Opposition Leader is now calling on citizens across the political divide to join forces with him.
The PPP continues to press President David Granger to reverse the appointment of retired Justice James Patterson as the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission following the President’s “unilateral” appointment last week.
At a press conference today, Mr. Jagdeo observed that since then, a number of civil society organizations and individuals have expressed views on the matters.
He said notwithstanding the immediate concerns of the appointment being in contradiction to the Constitution, he fears that the move is a precursor to rigged elections.
He said Guyanese must not accept the government’s dismissal of the matter with pleas to “move on from it” but instead continue to reject the decision.
“They want to put this undemocratic illegal act behind them and country must accept this. This is the beginning of the road to the denial of free and fair elections,” he added.
Jagdeo said there is a need for citizens to reject the appointment as a country and not look at it as a task only for the PPP.
“It is not a fight for the PPP alone, it is for the country and all citizens,” he added.
As the debate continues on the controversial appointment of the new GECOM Chairman, Jagdeo is also questioning the suitability and effectiveness of Patterson as the best candidate for the job.
Jagdeo had submitted three lists to the President David Granger, comprising a total of 18 names but all three lists were rejected by the Head of State on the grounds that the nominees were not fit and proper.
“And then he [the President] said he will hold me responsible for acts of civil disobedience. I’m not scared when these fools threaten me […] look at the CVs of those 18 individuals.”
He now insists that many of his own nominees are imminently more qualified than Justice Patterson even as he raised questions about the truthfulness of Patterson serving as Chief Justice in a sister CARICOM country.
Patterson’s impartially was also questioned by Jagdeo who said he has seen evidence to suggest that he is partisan, referencing his involvement in the funeral of former President Desmond Hoyte.
“His impartially is yet to be proven but from all, we have seen he is partial and pro-PNC.”
The Opposition Leader also criticised the President’s failure to adhere to his own list of criteria for the appointment.
He said Mr. Granger seems not to be obligated to follow the criteria set by him in his own appointment.
The President has made it clear that his move to appoint the GECOM Chairman falls within the Constitution of Guyana and follows Mr. Jagdeo’s own failure to provide him with acceptable candidates.