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Jagdeo agrees to send envoy to Attorney General to discuss GECOM Chairmanship issue

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo (centre) flanked by PPPC parliamentarians Irfan Ali and Gail Teixeira as he announced the names of the nominees for the position of GECOM Chairman.

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo Wednesday night said he would be sending an envoy to meet with Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams to iron out disagreements over the constitutional requirements for appointing a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Jagdeo was responding publicly to President David Granger’s formal request for the Opposition Leader to send someone of his choice to meet with the Attorney General to  clarify the interpretation of Article 16 (2) of Guyana’s Constitution that spells out the requirements for nominees.

“Nevertheless, in the best interest of the nation, the Leader of the Opposition will accede to the President’s request, since we are committed to protecting the democratic process, which the Guyanese people so valiantly and tirelessly struggled to establish,” Jagdeo said in a statement.

Expressing disappointment that the President did not accede to his request for a meeting, Jagdeo hoped that the talks between his representative and Williams would be fruitful. “It is our hope that this engagement will provide the requisite clarity   and will move the process closer to an early resolution,” the Opposition Leader said.

“We are disappointed that the clarifications that we requested have not been furnished. We are further disappointed that the President is unprepared to meet with the Leader of the Opposition on a matter of such crucial national importance. We had hoped that such a meeting would have exposed the President to a view that is different from that of the Attorney General, whom we presume, is advising the President on this matter,” Jagdeo added.

For his part, the President said he was confident that such a meeting would provide “both of us with a common interpretation of the Constitution. “This will enable me to avoid further delay and discharge my obligation,” Granger added.

The President has deemed Jagdeo’s list of six nominees “unacceptable” because none of them is a judge, retired judge or eligible to be appointed a judge.

The nominees are Governance and Conflict Resolution Specialist, Lawrence Lachmansingh; Attorney-at-Law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram; Retired Major General, Joseph Singh; Business Executive, Ramesh Dookhoo; businesswoman and East Indian Rights activist, Rhyaan Shah; History Professor, James Rose.

Opposition Leader Jagdeo has said that if the President goes ahead and appoints a GECOM Chairman unilaterally, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) would mount a legal challenge in the High Court.

Attorney General Williams is already on record as saying that all six nominees must be acceptable to the President from among whom the President would pick one in his own deliberate judgment.

Alliance For Change (AFC) Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan has said the issue could not be challenged in court because there are no rules or standards that dictates how the President should make a political decision.

  • rs dasai

    And the Prezzi does not wish to ‘tell’ anyone what is ‘acceptable’ to him? Why?

    • Col123

      Fluff and misdirection…the past month… diversion from the economy.. red meat for loyalists!

  • Kassem_B

    ‘Jagdeo agrees to send envoy to Attorney General to discuss GECOM Chairmanship issue’
    Then what you do afterwards?
    Why play that game?
    Let the President extricate himself of the game he started to please his extremists

  • Emile_Mervin

    When you suggest a division of Guyana to satisfy the racism and greed behind such thinking, what happens to the Amerindian brethren who were in Guyana before Blacks and Indians were brought as slaves and indentured servants, respectively?
    When next you go to a funeral, look inside the casket or coffin to see what the deceased is taking with them. Then ask yourself: “To what end is my ignorance?”

  • Emile_Mervin

    Here is what the Jagdeo List should look like:
    1. Sitting Judge
    2. Retired Judge
    3. Eligible Judge
    4. A Senior Counsel Attorney
    5. A Successful Business Executive
    6. A Qualified and Experienced Administrator

    • Col123

      Failed to mention that they must hold a PNC party membership EM ?….the next election will be won with a 1% PNC majority.. not 80 or 90%..the experiment is over. we are wasting our time here…

  • Col123

    You have massa cowardly a wall, separate, divide….you may want to head north and occupy the ocean..there is oil….and where should the 11 percenters live?.. in the south?..