Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Tuesday said civil society actors are increasingly fed up with searching for nominees for the position of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) in keeping with President David Granger’s criteria.
He said a third list would be submitted after he receives nominees from civil society and discusses them internally.
Speaking with reporters after his consultation with civil society on Monday, Jagdeo said the process has now become “tedious” because Granger’s stance is “unreasonable”. “It is going to be increasingly hard to find people who will then be put down nationally, publicly by the President,” Jagdeo said.
Touching on the President’s position that all six nominees must be acceptable to him before he chooses one of them for the post of GECOM Chairman, the Opposition Leader argued that even if five names are acceptable Granger refuses to say who is the unacceptable nominee. “We will never be able to have a person selected if he refuses to say who the acceptable ones are on the two lists I have submitted,” said the former Guyanese leader.
Apparently echoing concerns by former President Donald Ramotar that Granger is rejecting the lists of nominees to delay Guyana’s next general elections due in 2020, Jagdeo said the PPP would not sit idly by and allow a delay in the polls. “The moment that the constitutional period expires, we will have a constitutional crisis. He is not going to have a conpliant PPP (People’s Progressive Party),” he said. The 1990 general elections had been postponed until 1992 because of wideranging concerns about the voters’ list at that time.
The High Court is next month expected to give its interpretation of the constitutional provision on the appointment of a GECOM Chairman, at the request of city businessman Marcel Gaskin.
Granger inists that the nominees must be a judge, retired judge or someone eligible to be a judge instead of merely being a fit and proper person. Additionally, he says the person must be independent and have integrity.