THE NOMINATION OF KWAME Mc COY TO THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD COMMISSION IS AN INSULT TO ALL DECENT MINDED GUYANESE--PRESS RELEASE Wednesday 11 March 2009




Despite the strenuous principled objections by all opposition members of the National Assembly Appointments Committee, the PPP/C appears determined to have the appointment of Kwame McCoy, as a member of the Rights of the Child Commission, approved by the National Assembly of the Parliament tomorrow, Thursday12 March 2009. The nomination of Kwame McCoy, as the representative of the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, to serve on this Commission, is an insult to all decent minded Guyanese and the latest illustration of PPP/C arrogance and lack of concern for the views of Guyanese.

The Rights of the Child Commission is one of the four Commissions established by article 212 G (1) of the Constitution of Guyana.

By virtue of article 212 U (2) (a) the Ministry with responsibility for children’s affairs i.e. the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security and the Ministry of Education are entitled to nominate member(s) to the Rights of the Child Commission.

The National Assembly, on the 13th day of June 2008, unanimously passed Resolution 60. This Resolution approved both, the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security and the Ministry of Education, being asked to nominate one person each to serve on the Rights of the Child Commission, along with the thirteen other members nominated by other agreed entities.

On or around the 18th day of July 2008 the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security was requested by letter to have his Ministry nominate a person to serve on the Rights of the Child Commission.

In January 2009, after the Committee on Appointments had received the names of the other 14 nominees, to serve on the Rights of the Child Commission, the Committee received a letter from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security informing the Committee that the Ministry’s previous nominee was withdrawn and the new nominee was Mr. Kwame McCoy, press officer to the President of Guyana.

It is interesting to note that the members of the Committee never saw a copy of the first letter from the Permanent Secretary and, enquiries about its contents were met with the strange response, from Ms Gail Teixeira, Chairperson of the Committee on Appointments, that the first letter was never received by the Secretary to the Committee on Appointments.

At the level of the Committee on Appointments, the representatives of the PNCR-1G strenuously opposed the nomination of Mr. McCoy. As a consequence, the PPP/C members of this Committee, which include the Honourable Ms. Priya Manickchand, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, agreed to an adjournment, of the meeting of the Committee, to reconsider their support of Mr. McCoy’s nomination.

Predictably, at the next meeting of the Committee on Appointments, in February 2009, the PPP/C members all reaffirmed their support of the nomination of Mr. McCoy.

At the Sitting of the National Assembly, on Thursday 12 March 2009 (tomorrow), the Sixth Report of the Committee on Appointments, in relation to the appointment of the members of the Rights of the Child Commission, will be debated.

The PNCR-1G will continue to object to the nomination of Mr. McCoy.

The objections of the Party, to the nomination of Mr. McCoy to the Rights of the Child Commission, are as follows:

1. His nomination, to this Commission, flies in the face of Article 212 G (2) of the Constitution of Guyana which states that “A Commission shall be independent, impartial and shall discharge its functions fairly”. It is public knowledge that Mr. McCoy is a rabid member and/or supporter of the PPP/C and, his numerous public utterances, in the print and electronic media, makes it clear that he is merely a mouthpiece of the PPP/C and the President. Therefore, he can neither be considered to be independent nor impartial.

2. The letter from the Committee on Appointments to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, in July 2008, stated inter alia that “The person must also have earned public respect and be of unquestionable honesty and integrity”. The countless calls that, the PNCR-1G and individual Party members, have received from persons, from all walks of life, expressing grave concerns about the nomination of Mr. McCoy, to the Rights of the Child Commission, testify that there is the public perception that Mr. McCoy is no exemplar and has not earned the respect or regard of the Guyanese public.

3. Mr. McCoy is not an employee of the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security. While the Constitution does not expressly state that the nominees, from that Ministry or the Ministry of Education, must be employees of the respective Ministries, his nomination offends the spirit of the Constitution, as the rationale for the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security having a nominee on this Commission, is that the nominees would be the conduit for information between the Commission and their respective Ministries.

This latest demonstration, by the PPP/C, of its continued disregard and disrespect for the Constitution of Guyana, while not surprising, is regrettable.

The PNCR-1G calls on Minister Manickchand to demonstrate her independence and respect for the Constitution, and the spirit in which a nominee should be appointed by her Ministry, by withdrawing Mr. McCoy as that nominee.

THE PNCR ALSO CALLS ON ALL ORGANISATIONS THAT HAVE MADE REPRESENTATIONS TO THE PARTY, TO LET THEIR CONCERNS BE MADE PUBLIC.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana
Wednesday 11 March 2009