GECOM Chairman appointment…Granger breaks his own age policy
Oct 22, 2017 , https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...hairman-appointment/
President David Granger’s unilateral appointment of 84-year-old retired Justice James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), directly conflicts with the public position he and his coalition Government took on the employment of persons for public office beyond the retirement age.
Early this year, President David Granger justified the replacement of persons on several state boards, agencies and commissions by pointing to the new policy on age developed by Government.
Among the notable persons who were affected by the ‘new policy’ were Justice Cecil Kennard, who was asked to step down as Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA); former Mayor of Georgetown Hamilton Green, who served as the Chairman of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA); and Justice Prem Persaud, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Green will be 83 in November while Justice Persaud is age 84 and Kennard is over 80 years of age. Green who supports the president’s unilateral decision wouldn’t comment on the government’s mixed signals on the issue of age.
Granger had promised to produce a general order explaining government’s policy on age and retirement with the hope to provide other persons an opportunity to serve so that over a period of time, there is a buildup of expertise among the younger generations.
“So it is not a criticism of Justice Kennard. There will be further information but nobody is being purged. We are simply trying to give other persons the ability to serve,” the President had said.
Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan had said of Kennard’s departure, “I think it’s his age.”
The government has shared plans to increase the age of retirement in the public service from 55.
Jagdeo raises Patterson’s age
Justice Patterson’s age was mentioned by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, who said the retired judge was nearly 85 years of age.
“One time the president said we don’t want people of a certain age. He said to me right at the beginning; ‘You know young people must be given a chance. I think justice Patterson is close to 85 years old. This president is untrustworthy,” Jagdeo had told reporters.
While Jagdeo raised the issue of age, he himself had proposed Retired Major General, Norman McLean, who will be 82 in November. He was on the first list of names proposed by Jagdeo.
After the first list was rejected by the president, Jagdeo submitted a second list of nominees on May 2 which included retired Justice of Appeal, BS Roy; retired Justice William Ramlall; former Magistrate Oneidge Walrond-Allicock; Attorney Kashir Khan; Attorney Nadia Sagar; and Captain Gerald Gouveia.
The nominees on Jagdeo’s third list to the president were submitted on August 25. On that list was Major General Joseph Singh, Teni Housty; Sanjeev Datadin; Annette Arjune-Martins; Onesi La Fleur; and Krishnadatt Persaud.