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Granger rules out foreigner for GECOM Chairman

President David Granger on Thursday ruled out the picking of a foreigner to become the next Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Speaking on his latest edition of the ‘Public Interest’ television programme, the Guyanese leader said, “I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think it’s possible. I don’t think it’s desirable.”

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who is responsible for constitutional reform, has already scoffed at the idea first floated by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.

Nagamootoo has said that constitutions are not merely amended for the sake of convenience and he called on Jagdeo to go back and search for six nominees who are acceptable to the President.

Jagdeo has said that he has suggested in the latest round of discussions with the President that perhaps they could jointly agree to amend Guyana’s constitution to include non-Guyanese nominees for the post of GECOM Chairman.

Referring to the two previous lists that have been submitted by the Opposition Leader, the President said he would not be boxed into a corner to choose on person. “I won’t be driven into picking one,” Granger said.

GECOM has been without a Chairman since February when Dr. Steve Surujbally stepped down after being at the helm for 15 years.

The President has insisted that, in keeping with his interpretation of the constitution, the new Chairman should be a judge, retired judge or someone eligible to be a judge. Additionally, he says that person should be independent and impartial.