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Granger poised to name GECOM Chairman unilaterally- PPP

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo and Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira.

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo on Sunday declined to immediately react to President David Granger deeming the list of nominees for post of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) “unacceptable”, but his People’s Progressive Party (PPP) believed the Guyanese leader appeared set to unilaterally name someone.

“Let’s see who he picks or if he is going to ask for a second list. I doubt he is going to ask for another list. It looks as if he is going in the direction to invoke his own power to name someone and under that clause he has no discretion,” said PPP Executive Member, Gail Teixeira.

Jagdeo said he prefers to await Granger’s formal letter, stating his position on the six names that were submitted to assist the President in finding a replacement for Dr. Steve Surujbally who resigned with effect from November 31, 2016.

“When I receive a letter from him then I will respond formally. I have not received any letter from the President rejecting the list so far,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

Teixeira, however, said President Granger seemingly signaled that he would be naming a GECOM Chairman unilaterally. “It would be interesting if they didn’t but predictably, I think that’s what they are going to do,” she told Demerara Waves Online News. She said the President has no discretion and would have to unilaterally appoint a judge or  retired judge from Guyana or any other Commonwealth jurisdiction. “He has no discretion to move outside of that to find a fit and proper person,” she added.

FLASH BACK: Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo meeting with President David Granger.

Teixeira said the governing APNU+AFC coalition appeared set to inflict “another hit at democracy” in which Jagdeo’s list has emerged out of consultation with religious, civil society and non-governmental organisations.

The Opposition Leader’s nominees are Governance and Conflict Resolution Specialist, Lawrence Lachmansingh; Businesswoman, Rhyaan Shah; History Professor, James Rose; Retired Major General Norman Mc Lean;  Business Executive, Ramesh Dookhoo and Attorney-at-Law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram.

However President Granger Sunday morning told a media brunch on the lawns of State House that he has rubbished Jagdeo’s list of nominees. “The list that was sent to me was unacceptable,” he said. He stressed that Guyana’s constitution appeared to place greater preference for the GECOM’s Chairman to be current or former judge in Guyana or the the Commonwealth or qualified to be appointed such a judge or any other fit and proper person. The President noted that the Constitution provides for the appointment of a person with such a legal background if the Opposition Leader submits a list that is unacceptable to him (the President).

“Four times in one article it mentions that word- “judge”- so the only thing about the list is that it comprises six names,” Granger added.

The non-governmental African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA) has already criticised Jagdeo for failing to consult with Afro-Guyanese organisations and has called on the President to reject the list.

Describing then President Desmond Hoyte as a “brilliant lawyer,” Teixeira said it was he who had selected Ambassador Rudy Collins from a list of six nominees who had been presented by then Opposition Leader, Cheddi Jagan.

When Jagan and Jagdeo became Presidents, the PPP official said it was the Opposition Leaders from the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) that had submitted lists with the names of  gold miner Edward Hopkinson (1994);  Attorney-at-Law, Doodnauth Singh (1995); Retired  Major General, Joseph Singh (1998) and Dr. Surujbally (2002) as GECOM Chairman. “None of those were judges and I didn’t hear the PNC object because it was from a list they had submitted so it is highly contradictory what he (Granger) is saying base on the precedent of his own party which he heads,” she said.

  • ”that he has rubbished Jagdeo’s list of nominees”… Wow ! …Granger’s language is definitely designed to ”win Friends and influence Enemies”.

    • long_legs

      the president never said that he “rubbished” jagdeo’s list of nominees. what he actually said was; “the list of nominees that jagdeo submitted is unacceptable” – way different in meaning and way different in tone as what you want to believe.

      it is disgusting how the media will uses certain words claiming to be that of public figures and the low-information followers like yourself will pick-up every scrap of misinformation and run with it as though it is the gospel without blinking an eye.

      it is shameful to want to hold the president’ feet to the fire based on distortions and lies when you are unwittingly used because you lack intellectual curiosity and can only regurgitate words fed into your mouth!


      • Why the odious fulminations? Not on my behalf, …….I am insulated,……but you…..what comes out defiles you,since it signifies that there is a cesspool residing within.
        2017……..Politics is not our solution. ……. for me ,a periodic ,entertaining diversion. Lighten up!

    • Jinnah Rahman

      REJECTION NOT RUBBISH – This is fellow or woman (using a false name) does not seem to understand the English language. I am not surprised – it is a reflection of the level of SEMI-ILLITERATE generation developed under the PPP rule – their ministers need to learn good English also.

      The President never used the word “Rubbish” – that was how it was reported here by Demerarwaves. The President said he rejected the “bare” list that Jagdeo submitted and asked Jagdeo to supply the CV of the 6 persons.

      The PPP is making a “mounting out of a molehill”. What is necessary to ensure are the mechanisms to have a FREE and FAIR elections. Afterall, Surijbally was PPP acolyte – but he was not prepared to bent too low and the PPP ran a daily campaign to get rid of him. Now he resigned – what next. They want another person of their choice – an opportunist – as the list suggests.

      The PPP should publish the JOB DESCRIPTION of the Chairman of the GECOM and they should ensure that the person they prefer fits those criteria. As a voter, and I think all voters should know what this person is required to do and hold him or her accountable.

      Let the GECOM job be like any professional job. The person in this position must have the confidence of the Guyanese voters across the country. The PPP filed an election petition challenging the validity of the May 2015 General Election – and that matter is still to be heard.

      The PPP has forgetten that the 2011 Election results would have been different had it not been for the brilliance of GECOM Commissioner, Vincent Alexander, who detected the alleged GROSS inaccuracies of the pro-PPP CEO, Boodhoo.

      History would have been different – if the Donald Ramotar Presidency had not suffered from the fatal attack – bringing his regime crashing to the ground and ushering in the Coalition government. That is what the PPP needs to ensure – that there is no fiddling by any senior staff of GECOM.

      Guyanese should campaign for a TOTALLY INDEPENDENT GECOM – where political parties have no say in the management of any elections in Guyana, as is done in developed countries. We need to drastically improve the speed in which the results are declared – with a voting population of less than 400,000 voters.

  • After the performance of Steve,who can blame him ? Please put experienced legal minds in that position…..Stop rubbishing de constitution.

    • Emile_Mervin

      The Constitution does say the Gecom chairman must be a judge or someone of high standing in the legal or other profession (which was how come Steve Surujbally, a professional veterinarian, was selected instead of a legal mind), and must be from a list submitted by the Opposition. If Granger picks someone other than from the Opposition list, he could be violating the spirit of the Constitution. He’d be better off asking for a second list.

      I am not impressed by Granger, but as unimpressive as he is, he remains a better choice than Jagdeo or a Jagdeo puppet. Jagdeo had his turn and time and since he doesn’t want anyone else with new ideas to run the PPP, then the PPP must be rejected. Why he is allowed to hijack the PPP three times is inexplicable and unacceptable to sane thinking Guyanese.

      • rudeo

        are you up for consideration?

        • Emile_Mervin

          I will consider you question and get back to you after I am finished considering your question. Consider it done! 😉

      • Kassee

        Buddie,all the trash u keep spewing all over the map is your own opinions and not those of the majority on Guyanese,where Jagdeo is concerned.U have a known axe to grind.The man was elected by the P.P.P. as G/S. It is what they choose.Not what u want.U have no say in that.Not even a say on how this gov’t. is run.Wonder when elections were being rigged and all other evil under the racist P.N.C.if u were so vocal against those.

        • Emile_Mervin

          Glad you recognize I have opinions to share, but I never said my opinions are shared by the majority of Guyanese. Now, run along with your friend, Don the Con.

          • Kassee

            I know who my friends r.Hope u know yours too.

      • rs dasai

        And we must not now continue such previous behaviour.

  • galfromna

    He is not the past PNC president of vice president, he is his own president and will chose the chairman his way. Persons chosen for chairman must be a judge or former judge. period.

    • rs dasai


  • Madman

    If the constitution says “or any other fit and proper person” then Granger is making excuses so that he could get his own people in the position.

    • rs dasai

      Despite your ‘Handle’ you are one sane and perceptive person.

  • Kassee

    If the P.P.P. had done this,we all know what would have happened on the streets.If Granger pick someone on his own,the opposition does not have to go along with that.There r other options.One can remember when Hoyte was forced to change course and give in to free and fair elections and how that was done.

  • Victor

    It is my opinion that the President prefers a Judge who would not be swayed from the law by , RACE , RELIGION OR ANY FORM OF TAX PROBLEM ,then claim the election was rigged as previously suggested

  • Gtloyal

    “…it is highly contradictory what he (Granger) is saying base on the precedent of his own party which he heads,” she said.
    Ms Teixeira, we are moving forward. Shouldn’t adherence to a precedent depend upon its continuing practicality? They were never designed, as the Ten Commandments, to govern the conduct of mankind for ever.

  • Gtloyal

    Helooo PPP folks here! Do you remember when some used to say “abee run tings” as a justification of questionable issues? Well, unfortunately, sadly I’ll say, you are now having a taste of your own medicine. So, here we are, taking Guyana down that road to self-destruction that you deliberately paved.

    • Col123

      So who’s the we taking Guyana down that road GT?..

      • Gtloyal

        Ow man! Yuh don’t see well? Me gat fuh explain everything? We, Guyanese all, you and me and all dem bloggers, everybody writing a bunch a crap, criticizing everything de government do just because of race and petty party politics instead of contributing solutions fuh help dem fuh develop we country … is something we started years ago.
        There is no “dicktaterships” here. It’s just that we bin get so accustomed to the lawlessness under the past government that now we can’t tek orderliness nor de application of we own laws. And we ain’t gat no Great Madiba hey suh … we bettah find one soon.

        • Victor

          110% true every letter !

        • Col123

          Let’s start with development:::Them bettah put feddie in charge of getting them first world toilets built to accommodate them rich tourists and

          • Gtloyal

            Nothing else to say, me broddah?