Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo will find it virtually impossible to submit a third list of nominees for the post of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and much will depend on a meeting between him and President David Granger later this month, a top opposition party official said Sunday.
“Finally, finding another six names in compliance with the President’s fallacious construction of Article 161 (2) of the Constitution, would now become near impossible. The pool to draw from has become significantly narrower .
More importantly, more persons would become even more reluctant to offer their names for the fear of the public damage and humiliation to their professional reputation, character and image by the President’s cavalier rejection of their names,” People’s Progressive Party (PPP) front-bencher, Anil Nandlall said in a statement.
The Granger-Jagdeo meeting is scheduled for June 12, 2017 at State House.
Nandlall also reiterated Jagdeo’s warning that if the matter remains unresolved, President Granger would have to live by the consequences. “If not, the consequences to this nation may be dire for which the President will have to accept responsibility,” said Nandlall, a former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs. Jagdeo has said if Granger goes ahead and appoints a GECOM Chairman unilaterally, legal action would be taken.
The President deemed the second list of nominees unacceptable because, based on their curriculum vitae, he did not have a range from which to select one person based on Guyana’s constitution and the criteria. Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has since invited Jagdeo to meet Granger to discuss the Opposition Leader’s public statements after the list was rejected.
Nandlall hopes that the meeting between the two top Guyanese politicians “would result in the President’s resiling from his misinterpretation of Article 161 (2).”
The President has said that all six nominees must be acceptable to him from which he would select one.
The latest list of rejected nominees is made up of Justice of Appeal B.S 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.
The first rejected list had been made up of Governance and Conflict Resolution Specialist, Lawrence Lachmansingh; Attorney-at-Law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram; Retired Major General, Norman Mc Lean; Business Executive, Ramesh Dookhoo; Indian Rights Activist, Rhyaan Shah and History Professor, James Rose.
The post became vacant with the resignation of Dr. Steve Surujbally in February, 2017 after being 15 years at the helm.