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Granger mum on reasons for opposing substantive Chancellor, Chief Justice appointments

Acting Chief Justice, Ian Chang and Acting Chancellor, Carl Singh

Opposition Leader, David Granger on Friday refused to divulge reasons not agreeing to the confirmation of Justices Carl Singh and Ian Chang as Chancellor and Chief Justice respectively.

“The constitution doesn’t require me to divulge my reason,” he said. “The President didnt have to give me reasons for his nominations. I didnt have to give the President reasons for my recommendation.”‘

Asked whether Justices Singh and Chang have not acted in the interest of the opposition or the country in the past, Granger said he had not investigated that. He said then Opposition Leader, Robert Corbin had reasons for not granting approval.

From all appearances, the judges would not be substantively appointed to those positions in which they have been acting for the past eight years because President Donald Ramotar is insisting on confirming Singh and Chang after the constitutionally required “meaningful” consultations with the Opposition Leader.

Granger maintained that the posts should be advertised and suitably qualified and competent persons should be appointed. “The reason why the formula of agreement was created was to ensure that there was widespread confidence in the public in those two appointments,” he said.

While Granger declined to give reasons for opposing the appointments of Chang and Singh, he said his formula was geared at guaranteeing confidence in the office holders.

He did not share blame for the protracted delay. “I inherited a situation of gridlock and I proposed to President Ramotar a means of breaking the gridlock and moving forward so I thought my recommendation was a forward looking recommendation so that we can get out of gridlock so I am confident if he accepts that recommendation, we will soon have a chancellor with which the whole population is happy,” he said.

Government has rejected Granger’s formula for hiring the best candidates, saying that nowhere else in the world are those positions advertised.

Granger countered by saying that other countries have transparent systems including public hearings. In the case of Guyana, he said our system included one of consultations.