GDF pledges allegiance to the Constitution, not Govt of the day – Nandlall

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Ranks of the Guyana Defence Force

Secretary to the Defence Board and Attorney General, Anil Nandlall has rejected claims that the government is politicising the Guyana Defence Force (GDF). This claim was made by Opposition Parliamentarian Amanza Walton-Desir during a recent sitting of the National Assembly.

“I want to reject absolutely the allegations made by Walton-Desir in the parliament, in relation to the government’s attempts and the President’s attempts at politicising the Force and undermining the professionalism of the Force,” Nandlall said during his weekly programme ‘Issues in the News’ on Tuesday.

Nandlall noted that the primary function of the GDF is to protect Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty for which it must swear allegiance to the Constitution of Guyana.

However, he said in so doing, the members of the Force do not swear allegiance with any serving political party.

He said: “In bearing loyalty and pledging allegiance to the Constitution of Guyana, that defence force must not necessarily pledge allegiance to the Government of the day, though it must support the government of the day.”

Walton-Desir drew her conclusion from an engagement between the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr Irfaan Ali on his birthday. The engagement involved the sharing of birthday cake with the leaders of the army.

The Defence Board Secretary said there is nothing implicative of the event.

“Historically, every commander has had engagements of an open nature, of celebratory nature, of a social nature with the GDF, they have had breakfast, lunches, they have had cocktails, they have had parties, they have had a variety of social and other engagements and Commanders-in-Chief and the Forces that they command have that relationship anywhere in the world,” he pointed out.

According to Nandlall, who boasts of having lived his entire life in Guyana, the GDF is more professional than it has ever been in the history of Guyana. He also mentioned the Guyana Police Force (GPF) which he says is more resourced than it has ever been with the highest level of morale among ranks.