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Bar Association signals court action to compel president to comply with High Court orders; Granger sticks with preference for judicial person for GECOM Chairman

President David Granger

Even as the Guyana Bar Association signaled that a Court Order could be obtained to compel President David Granger to comply with a High Court ruling on the process of appointing a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), he maintained that preference must be for a judicial person

“While the President believes that the Constitution was crafted the way it was to give preference to the appointment of ‘a person who holds or who has held office as a judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court or who is qualified to be appointed as any such judge’, he has never disagreed with acting Chief Justice’s ruling in that the Constitution clearly states that ‘any other fit and proper person’ can be appointed,”  the Ministry of the Presidency said.

That is in clear contrast to Chief Justice Roxane George-Wilsthire’s ruling on Monday, July 17, 2019 that both judicial and non-judicial persons have equal weight and that the judicial and non-judicial categories were broadened by the word “any”.

Chief Justice Roxanne George

The Ministry of the Presidency rubbished reports that the President essentially shunned the High Court’s ruling, saying that that amounted to a “misinterpretation”.

“Any commentary to contrary is clearly a deliberate misinterpretation. There is no indication that the Head of State ‘dismissed’ the Chief Justice’s ruling, nor that he does not observe the separation of powers between the Executive Branch of Government and the Judiciary,” the Ministry of the Presidency said in a statement on Saturday.

The President had for months maintained that the constitution gives preference for a judge, retired judge or someone eligible to be a judge to be appointed a GECOM Chairman. Last Monday when he was asked whether he still was of the view that the appointee should be a judicial person given the Chief Justice’s ruling states  that both judicial and non-judicial should be given equal weight, the President had responded by saying, “I do not believe that anything the Honourable Chief Justice said has diminished my regard for the word and spirit of the Constitution.”

The Ministry of the Presidency statement did not refer to the section of President Granger’s comments in which he signaled that he was not constitutionally required to give reasons for rejecting nominees for GECOM Chairmanship by the Opposition Leader. “If you can show me the article of the Constitution which requires me to give reasons, I will comply with the Constitution but I will not do what the Constitution does not require me to do,” Granger has said.

For its part, the Guyana Bar Association (GBA) said the President is obliged to obey the declaratory orders made by the Chief Justice, based on her application of principles of law. The Association said those orders are “not interpretations or opinions but, like all other orders of court, are pronouncements of the law made in formal proceedings on a particular legal state of affairs.”

The association said legal treatise makes it clear that the refusal to abide by a declaratory order may result in an order to enforce the rights established by the declaration.  “The Bar Council is confident that, like in every other society which respects and safeguards the rule of law, the State will abide by the declaratory orders made by the Chief Justice.”

Bar Association sources said “if there is a failure to abide by the declaratory order, the party adversely affected can apply to the court by way of application to enforce same. Further, it goes without saying, I would think, that in questions on the interpretation of any lawl, the Court, and not the President or any individual, is the final arbiter.”

City businessman, Marcel Gaskin had asked the High Court to interpret the Constitutional provision on the appointment of a GECOM Chairman. He has since given notice of appeal on a section of the Chief Justice’s ruling.

  • WCstar

    This Hon. President is dead serious about appointing the first female Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission. So the ruling of the Court will not dissuade the President from his original intention.
    The preference for a Judge is tantamount to two teenagers madly falling in love at first sight. Nothing the parents say will change their minds, until the realities of life hit them in their faces, namely, paying the rent, grocery and utilities’ bills, etc.

    What cases of precedence are there to buttress the requirement of a Judge ? The only situation that came close to requiring some deep thoughts from the Commission’s point of view was when the PNC’s representative successfully challenged the calculations of Boodhoo, the former Chief Elections Officer.

    And the PNC’s man was not a Judge, or a luminary figure in the Legal System !

    • rs dasai

      WC
      My intent supersedes everything and more.

  • Charles Selman

    Eminent Counsels- Herman and Brazil-are his prime advisers. They will sell his head.

  • shovid

    DEM PUPPETEERS STRINGS….YANKING POOR OLE SOLJABOY ALL CORNERS….

  • Ashley Singh

    David Granger is the President and he can do what he pleases to do. The Constitution takes second place.

  • Jinnah Rahman

    BRINGING BACK LAW AND ORDER – ROLE OF PRESIDENT

    The President of the Republic of Guyana has been tasked with the huge responsibility to bring back LAW AND ORDER – in a highly LAWLESS and DISORDERLY society. A situation created by JAGDEO and his acolytes.
    There is no question of the President usurping the role and authority of Judges or the judicial system. In fact the President in his recent interview with media houses said that : ” . .Judges are expected to be exemplars of high moral standards and personal propriety.” There is a clear separation of duties.

    One cannot overlook the fact that the COALITION government, of which he is the ultimate caretaker, has INHERITED a complete breakdown – not only of LAW AND ORDER, but a complete dislocation, where trust and loyalty became something foreign. The President has worked tirelessly to stablise the situation by taking a personal hold on the security of the country – internally and externally.

    For those critics, who engage in daily “shouting matches”, running in and running out of the country, like a roving ambassador, it does take a lot to keep a Partnership together. It is easy to talk, but takes far more when it comes to manage a country, with all the complexities of the past and the present.

    Guyana does not need “FLY BY NIGHT REVOLUTIONARIES”. We need people who come and put their hands and feet on the ground – in the rain and in the sun – to produce things for our people and make Guyana a better place for all. The real producers of wealth are the workers and farmers, who are not given the recognition for their hard work and daily frustrations.

    The likes of Freddie Kissoon, Raymond Gaskin and Christopher Ram, have not contributed anything tangible to our society, except “big mouth Talk”. Those who listen to them, would know that are only good at confusing the situation – making things worse for the ordinary people. They have no idea how to run or manage anything.

    It is true that people in positions of authority have not been pulling their weight, despite the material resources that has been placed at their disposal. The President has to take more control over his lazy and incompetent Ministers – after all, it is the GRANGER ADMINISTRATION that will have to take the blame when things go wrong. Praise is not given when good things are done.

    The President has not shirked his responsibility on the question of law and order . He is not distracted by the JAGDEOITES, who rant and rave about political repression, “witch hunting” and ethnic cleansing.

    The JAGDEO-PPP is trying to gain the sympathies of ordinary people to defend themselves against the impending charges for mass corruption and theft of State property – which is people’s wealth. The 50 Forensic audits carried out by the Coalition has brought to the public – glaring evidences of “daylight robbery” of the coffers of this country.

    One of the most highly publicised cases is the raiding of BILLION of dollars from the rice industry.

    Sources close to former Permanent Secretary Mr. George Jervis say that he is planning a comeback, but that will not sit well with rice farmers and the farming community. A storm will rise, if he does return. In fact, he should be thoroughly investigated and the necessary due process of the law should take its toll against him and others.

    • Col123

      JR Chap…you are all ova the place padna!…from law and order to the coalition.. to manage the country.. to “revolutionaries”… to “incompetent ministers “…to my good friend “Freddie”…to “Jagdeo”….go get a check up bro… things na look regula!..and please do tell the world you constipated too!

      • rs dasai

        Col
        Thanks for being very ‘kind’ to the youngster.

        • Col123

          He’s a brotha… well educated… and needs a mentor… he is lucky that he will never get a redneck mentor, who openly would state his disdain for colored folks and foreigners!

          • rs dasai

            The young and inexperienced mind is easily swayed.

          • Gtloyal

            This one is swaying in the right direction, thank God.

      • Jinnah Rahman

        COL123 – the trouble with this US stooge – he does not live in Guyana, He continues to do the dirty work for US IMPERIALISM – but lives in the US. I am Guyanese – I live here. I am not a stooge of anyone.

        If a man – who has been the US ARMY and has held important positions – as he claims – why is he so much afraid to use his own name. He one of his missives – he stated that we dont know if he is Black, white or Indian. Who cares which race he is from- what we know he us JUST AN AGENT PROVOCATEUR.

        I live here – US COLONEL . I dont need to come or never will live in the US, especially under that madman – Trump.

        • Col123

          JR..Glad you are of service to Guyana… I regret that I couldn’t. .. tell you this .. to make up for my failures….I will hook you up with two acres of land with a house in Buxton ….I will throw in a car with gas and groceries … and golf lessons at Lusignan….. If you can live in that house for a month, I will give everything there to you for FREE!… on one condition that it must be your primary residence …Let me know if you have any interest in this offer!

          • Gtloyal

            Would the PPP pay for all that? Ho, ho, ho! Or BJ? That would shorten your monthly stipend.

    • Gtloyal

      Look at the reaction of the stooges. Your truth has hurt them.

  • Gtloyal

    “… (GBA) said the President is obliged to obey the declaratory orders made by the Chief Justice ….”
    OK. What are the orders?
    That he accept “… that both judicial and non-judicial persons have equal weight and that the judicial and non-judicial categories were broadened by the word “any”?
    There shouldn’t be a problem for him to accept that. But what difference would that make when the choice must be “… from a list of six persons, not unacceptable to the President

    • rs dasai

      GT
      and how do you know that I know what is acceptable? Do you want the ‘truth’ or ‘loyalty’ to me?

      • Gtloyal

        I know that you know what is acceptable because I know who I chose to put there.
        Why would you give someone that privilege if you never knew what was acceptable to that person? Now you have to live with it … or change the rules … in the middle of the game.
        There is no way that one can decide, for another person, what is acceptable to that person. You may decide and choose or recommend and try to convince … what in your opinion is good … but acceptable? There is no way that you could know what is acceptable to another person unless the person says ….
        For better or for worse, that’s the situation. The most that could be done now is advise and recommend … or reform.

        • rs dasai

          GT
          Good piece. You choose your crook and I choose mine? fair play.

          • Gtloyal

            Call it what you may. It is not what you want nor what anyone else want. It is what is written in the constitution. If you don’t like it, change it if you can.

          • rs dasai

            Gt
            Yes, ‘if’ ‘we’ can?

          • Gtloyal

            Well, you know who you are speaking for. I know that some had a chance to change it and never did. It was good for them then. That’s why they now have to hold the shitty end of the stick. That’s good for them now.

          • itmickey

            …and the ball is in my court…

    • itmickey

      The CJ was trying to help the situation by giving competent guidance on the matter since she recognized that the President want his own way…and you cant blame him for that…I heard ppl say (I dont know if its truth) that my beloved Burnham said that if you have power in your hands and loose it then it good fuh yuh…so safeguarding comes to mind…

      • Gtloyal

        It’s not that “… the President want his own way ….” It’s the constitution’s way. He is just doing what the constitution permits him to do to achieve what he believes is best for the nation.
        We should consider that no one may be compelled to do what is not ordered by law or be prevented from doing what is not prohibited by law.

  • Gtloyal

    Sad to say, but such are the “dolts” that we have to deal with in this country.

  • Gtloyal

    It’s a pity that you did not quote that biblical piece to those who governed us in the recent past, who ate only from the people’s sweat … and did not even left the crumbs for those who really did sweat.

    • Col123

      Gt .. I leave that up to you…because the weight of envy seems to be a burden upon your soul. …

      • Gtloyal

        We learned very early no to be “envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb”.

        • Col123

          Fine …then please put into practice…don’t preach to the choir…

          • Gtloyal

            Revealing your party’s MO is not being envious. Does letting it be known scare you?
            Anyway, do your thing. Offer the stars to quiet the critics.

          • Col123

            You started your response to my comments with concerns about “shorten your monthly stipend ” …concerns…and the PPP pay for all that!!!!… Who is stopping you from exposing whatever?.. you know more than I do about the politics of the PPP… so feel free to feed it to those addicted to that….do you want an offer like I made to JR?…I can sell you some farm lands my parents owned in Bonasika Creek… but you wouldn’t even know where that is!

          • Gtloyal

            Looking for market for what is not even yours? Well, not surprising. Fighting for land, especially rice lands is common in certain circles. Well, this is not LandWatch, Alibaba nor eBay. Go publicize somewhere else.
            BTW, I can assure you that I know Guyana more than you do.

          • Col123

            Well.. I do wish that my parents would be alive…and it is not rice land.. so much you know about what produce is common in that area!.. that’s reassuring that you know Guyana…. you need to learn more of its history where you are obviously lacking!

          • Gtloyal

            English is such a difficult language for some to understand. Well, I won’t explain. Go back and read again, (i.e. if you know where to read) and exercise your intellect, if there is any.

          • Col123

            Good for you Gt. I admire your superior intellect.Can’t imagine what you get out of these comments… at least I have lots of nothing else to do after golf…

          • Gtloyal

            The comments may not be to your liking but you don’t miss replying to one.
            Hope someday you’ll see the light and stop kowtowing to those of the currupt cabal who once ruled this nation.
            Have a good day.

  • Gtloyal

    You should be smart enough not to underrate your opponent. My opinion is not influenced by party or other political preference or loyalty but by what is written in the constitution. Those who oppose what the President has done in this case either don’t understand simple English or have not read the relevant article of the constitution … or ….