President David Granger said he first wants to see the qualifications and experience of the six persons nominated by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo to be the next Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
“I wouldn’t make a choice until I see the CVs (Curriculum Vitae),” he said very briefly when asked by Demerara Waves Online News after the conclusion of an Indian Arrival Day 2017 activity held at the Indian Monument Gardens. Granger added that he has since asked Jagdeo to send him the CVs.
Granger has already interpreted the constitutional provision on the appointment of a GECOM Commission as someone who should be a judge, retired judge or eligible to be a judge. Unlike Jagdeo’s first list that had no legal practitioner, this one has two retired judges, one former magistrate, two lawyers and one businessman.
The CVs are expected to not only include the nominees’ qualifications, experience and research but also their affiliations. President Granger has already ruled out picking someone who is an activist or member of a political organisation.
Among those attending that event and receiving an award for his contribution to Guyana’s jurisprudence is Retired Justice B.S. Roy. Moments later after the formal close of the event, the President and the Retired Court of Appeal Judge shook hands but did not chat.
In brief remarks, Roy said the award would be regarded in memory of his grandparents who journeyed from India to then British Guiana to work as indentured labourers on sugar plantations after the abolition of slavery in 1838.
“I should also like to take this opportunity to dedicate this award to my grandparents who made this journey for me several years ago when they made the decision to leave their little village of Maudhiya in the district of Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, India. I thank them and this is their honour and their memory,” said Justice Roy.
Justice Roy, Retired Justice William Ramlall; Attorney-at-law and a former Magistrate, Ms. Oneidge Walrond-Allicock; Attorney-at-Law, Kashir Khan; Attorney-at-law, Nadia Sagar and businessman, Gerald Gouveia were nominated on May 2, 2017, marking the second batch to have been submitted by the Opposition Leader in recent months.
The previously rejected list was made up of Conflict Resolution and Governance Specialist, Lawrence Lachmansingh; Retired Major General, Norman Mc Lean; Chartered Accountant and Attorney-at-Law, Christopher Ram; Business Executive Ramesh Dookhoo; History Professor, James Rose and Indian Rights Activist and businesswoman, Rhyaan Shah.
Granger threw out the list, saying that it was unacceptable because no was a judge or was eligible to be so appointed.
GECOM has been without a chairman ever since Dr. Steve Surujbally stepped down in February, 2017 after 15 years at the helm of that elections management body.