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PPP questions whether Granger’s reps authorised on eligibility of GECOM Chair nominees

The opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is likely to pull out of talks with the governing coalition on selecting a new Chairman for the Guyana Elections (GECOM) if government does not clarify whether the list of 18 nominees first has to be distilled by President Granger’s representatives, sources said.

“Unless we get clarity, I’m ending the engagement,” a source said. If not, “this exercise has wasted our time,” the source said.

The senior PPP official charged that Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon; Alliance For Change Leader Khemraj Ramjattan and People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Chairman Volda Lawrence appeared to be shortlisting persons before giving the President the full list of 11 names.

“They’re exercising discretion that they don’t have,” the source said.

The PPP official questioned whether the government representatives have the authority to shortlist names from Jagdeo’s list before sending them to the President.

Harmon said of the 11 names, four have been shortlisted and two are still under active consideration, and five have been rejected with reasons given.

The names of those rejected from the list were not shared so as not to compromise their integrity due to their positions in society, government’s Department of Public Information has reported.

Jagdeo’s nominees so far are Annette Arjoon-Martins, retired Justice of Appeal B S Roy, Gerry Gouveia, Retired Major General and former GECOM Chairman Joseph Singh, Attorney-at-Law Kashir Khan, former Senior Magistrate, Krisndatt Persaud, Governance consultant Lawrence Lachmansingh, Retired Major General Norman McLean, Onesi La Fleur, and private sector executive Ramesh Dookhoo.

Granger has suggested Stanley Moore and Claudette La Bennet, Economist Dr. Aubrey Armstrong, former PNC/R executive members Stanley Ming and Kaddim Khan, former GECOM Chairman (ret’d) Justice James Patterson, former Solicitor General, Kim Kyte and Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) Chairperson and Attorney, Kessaundra Alves.

Moore is a former Home Affairs Minister in the People’s National Congress (PNC) government, Armstrong had chaired an arbitration tribunal that had awarded huge salary increases to public servants.