BREAKING: President asks Opposition Leader for new list of GECOM Chairman nominees

Last Updated on Monday, 9 January 2017, 16:41 by Denis Chabrol

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

President David Granger on Monday asked Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo for another list of nominees from which to pick a new Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

“The President urged that a new list of persons who are “not unacceptable” be sent for his consideration,” Jagdeo said in a statement.

Jagdeo said he would be responding to the President  on Tuesday “and this communication will be made public.”

Dr. Steve Surujbally resigned with effect November 31, 2016, ending a 15-year tenure as GECOM Chairman.

Granger’s formal request to Jagdeo came one day after he deemed the first list of six nominees unacceptable  because none of them was a current or former judge or someone eligible to be a judge, given the numerous references to “judge” in the Constitutional article that deals with the appointment of a GECOM Chairman.

The constitution also provides for a fit and proper person to be selected and appointed to be Chairman of the seven-member election management authority.

Granger was once nominated by then Opposition Leader and Senior Counsel, Desmond Hoyte to be a GECOM Chairman. Then President  Jagdeo instead picked Major General Joseph Singh although the list had included Justice Rudolph Harper.

All previous Elections Commission Chairmen have not been judges or retired judges. The only one with legal training was now late Senior Counsel, Doodnauth Singh.

The PPP has threatened to challenge the appointment of a GECOM Chairman if the President does so unilaterally.

The Opposition Leader said President Granger told him in a letter that “the six nominees are unacceptable within the meaning of the constitution.”

They are Governance and Conflict Resolution Specialist, Lawrence Lachmansingh; Attorney-at-Law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram; businesswoman and former broadcast executive, Rhyaan Shah; Retired Major General, Norman Mc Lean; Business Executive, Ramesh Dookhoo and History Professor, James Rose.