Jagdeo Urges Guyanese to Join His Campaign of ‘Non-cooperation’ Against the Gov’t

Bharrat Jagdeo

GUYANA — Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, is calling on citizens across the political divide to join forces with him, as he kicks off his non-cooperation campaign against the government.

This follow’s President Grangers “unilateral” decision to name retired Justice James Patterson as chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), rejecting three lists of candidates submitted by the opposition PPP.

Jagdeo and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) continues to press Granger to reverse the appointment.

At a press conference today, Jagdeo observed that since then, a number of civil society organizations and individuals have expressed views on the matters. Jagdeo said he fears that the move is a precursor to rigged elections.

He was reported by News Source Guyana as saying that 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,” Jagdeo was reported as saying.

Jagdeo further stated, according to News Source, that 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, News Source reported.

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 was quoted by News Source as saying.

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 Grenada.

Patterson’s impartialty 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,” Jagdeo said, according to News Source.

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 argued that his move to appoint the GECOM Chairman falls within the Constitution of Guyana and follows Jagdeo’s own failure to provide him with acceptable candidates.