Dear Editor,With respect to the controversial appointment of Roxanne Myers as Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), I’ve noticed that the defence has shifted its argument to one of academic superiority.This position – like the earlier one about merit – cannot hold sway, as neither candidate received their degree from an institution that is top-rated. In fact, an online search revealed that the UN mandated University for Peace from which Myers obtained her Master’s degree is ranked 3756 by Ranking Web of Universities online (See http://www.webometrics.info/en).The same site ranks the Anglia Ruskin University from which Vishnu Persaud obtained his Masters at 1178.This brings me back to the view of Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who was quoted as saying that the issue at hand has more to do with the absence of fairness in the entire process – a position I agree with.Mr Persaud met all the advertised criteria. He has a post graduate degree, qualification in elections management, experience in the management of national elections, and much more. He is therefore the ‘superior’, ‘fit and proper’ candidate. In spite of this, he was sidelined in favour of Myers, whose social media-adumbrated, partisan political views disqualify her from holding such a sensitive position.Further, what makes the process even more questionable is the fact that Myers’s chief defender, Commissioner Vincent Alexander, neglects to disclose their teacher-student relationship at the University of Guyana.Clearly, this shows that there was no fairness involved in the process; and that persons, in spite of their experience and qualifications, are being sidestepped in preference for handpicked supporters of the APNU/AFC.Regards,Attiya Baksh
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush is issuing a disaster declaration for California counties hurt by the January deep freeze that caused some $1.3 billion in crop losses, Sen. Barbara Boxer said Tuesday. The declaration will allow farmers affected by the freeze that wiped out citrus and other crops to apply for federal disaster unemployment assistance and food commodities. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Boxer, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and congressional representatives had written to the White House repeatedly to ask for the declaration. Administration officials confirmed to Boxer that it was being issued. The five-night freeze was the most extensive the state had experienced since 1947, according to Boxer and Feinstein, and affected crops for 500 miles through the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, the Central Coast and Southern California. “This took too long as far as I am concerned, but I am very pleased we are finally moving forward,” Boxer said. “There has been so much suffering in California because of this unprecedented freeze, and I am pleased that help is finally on the way.” Members of California’s congressional delegation also are working to include money to help citrus farmers and others in an emergency war spending bill that is expected to reach the House floor next week. According to bill language circulating Tuesday, the bill includes $20 million to help citrus farmers with cleanup, and billions more for crop losses nationwide, some of which California farmers could access. The bill also has $25 million in assistance to spinach growers in the aftermath of the E. Coli scare that hit the Central Valley growers last fall, and $60.4 million for Klamath River salmon fishermen who’ve suffered a curtailed fishing season. However, Democratic House leaders planned to use the spending bill as a vehicle for controversial language demanding troop withdrawals for Iraq, so its fate is uncertain.