Justice Patterson’s previous post in Grenada does not affect his competence – State Minister

DPI, GUYANA, Friday, November 3, 2017

The fact that Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice James Patterson was the acting Chief Justice in Grenada and not the substantive Chief Justice, as stated on his Curriculum Vitae, does not affect his competence.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon at post Cabinet press briefing.

The argument that this may be an issue was dismissed on Friday by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

Minister Harmon said that “I don’t know if it is something you should give all that problem to, because we have a lot of people in this country who are acting, but we don’t say that because they are acting they are not that. The Chancellor of the Judiciary, who just retired was acting at the time when he retired, we wouldn’t say that he wasn’t the Chancellor of the Judiciary.”

The State Minister noted that Justice Patterson has performed well in that capacity and has performed credibly as the Chairman of the recently concluded Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the fire at the Camp Street Prison, which is reflected in the report that was laid in the National Assembly on Thursday, November 2.

He pointed out that the new Chairman was deemed “fit and proper” by the Head of State.

Carter Formula

It was noted further that, “much has been said that the appointment of Justice Patterson is going to affect the Carter Formula and all of that…utter nonsense.”

Minister Harmon explained that the Carter Formula provides for three commissioners from the Opposition, three from the Government and the Chairman to sit on the GECOM. “You have three commissioners sitting there, you mean to tell me that you are going to sit there and see this Chairman acting on his own and won’t start to make noise?” the Minister questioned.

Response to Opposition on Elections

He also questioned why the Opposition is raising the issue of rigged elections now when the General elections are slated for 2020 and there are many other matters that need to be addressed presently. “I really don’t understand the argument, I think it is blowing hot air, it is really crying wolf … and there is no wolf that is going to come,” the Minister said.

 

By: Stacy Carmichael

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