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President, Opposition Leader meeting: High-level negotiators to be appointed if Jagdeo’s third list fails

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo Monday evening  agreed to submit a third list of nominees for the post of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission and if that list fails to get President David Granger’s approval, a high-level team would iron out the difficulties.

“It was also agreed that a high-level team would be assembled representing the President and the Leader of the Opposition which will begin to work immediately on exploring modalities to bring a resolution to this matter in the event that the list is rejected,” a joint statement issued through the Ministry of the Presidency says.

The decisions were made at an estimated one hour of talks between Guyana’s top political leaders and their delegations from 6PM at State House.

The High Court is, meanwhile, set to continue its hearing on June 16, 2017 into an application by city businessman, Marcel Gaskin, for an interpretation of Guyana’s constitutional provision on the appointment of a GECOM Chairman.

Jagdeo later told Demerara Waves Online News that he would be consulting with stakeholders again, but he was unsure what form that would take. “I will definitely consult. I cannot say as yet.I don’t know what the format will be but consultations, yes,” he said.

The President and the Opposition Leader, according to the joint statement, agreed that a GECOM Chairman should be appointed swiftly. “The parties agreed that it would be in the best interest of the people of Guyana that the choice of a Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission is made without undue delay. The parties further agreed that the Leader of the Opposition will submit a new list of six names to the President,” the two sides say.

Monday’s meeting was held at the invitation of the President after he did not find favour with Jagdeo’s second list of nominees. Attending the meeting were Jagdeo and his team comprising of Mr. Anil Nandall M.P and Mr. Irfaan Ali M.P. The President’s team was made up of Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Raphael Trotman.

They consultations were held to find a way forward on the selection and appointment of a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission in accordance with Article 161 (2) of the Constitution of Guyana.

Granger has insisted that all of the nominees must be acceptable to him and that his constitutional interpretation is that priority should be given to a judge, retired judge or someone eligible to be a judge. He has since added his own criteria that the person should have integrity, be impartial and independent even to the extent of not being an activist  in any form (gender, racial, religious etc)” and “that person should not have any political affiliation or should not belong to any political party in any form, apparent or hidden.”

Those on the second rejected list are Retired Justice of Appeal B.S Roy,  Retired Justice William Ramlall;  Attorney-at-law and a former Magistrate, Ms. Oneidge Walrond-Allicock; Attorney-at-Law, Kashir Khan;  Attorney-at-law, Nadia Sagar and businessman, Gerald Gouveia.  The President has said that he has rejected the second list because he was not presented with a range of persons from which to choose one.

The first rejected list had been made up of Governance and Conflict Resolution Specialist,  Lawrence Lachmansingh;  Attorney-at-Law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram;  Retired Major General, Norman Mc Lean; Business Executive, Ramesh Dookhoo; Indian Rights Activist, Rhyaan Shah and History Professor, James Rose.

GECOM has been without a Chairman since late February, 2017 when Veterinarian Dr. Steve Surujbally stepped down after having been at the helm for 15 years. He had officially retired in November, 2017 but had been asked to stay on until a successor had been identified, but that was not to be.

  • james bond

    Damn! all this talking and time wasting to select a person what a shame.
    Both parties could have used their time to deal with so many other issues affecting the ppl of this country.

  • ExPPP_Man

    This is sheer nonsense. PNC intention is to reject every list submitted by the opposition then put their own to rig every elections as they did from 1964 until they bankrupt the country.

    • Col123

      Ex KKK dude…So!…What’s wrong with rigging the election?…alyou people get mo rich wen we people run the country…a wee people a get white mouth, eat wind, pass wind,and borrow foodstuff from you least we get lot of pomp and display, and wine down!

      • rs dasai

        Beware of the heat wave. Stay cool. LOL

        • Col123

          rain …rain..on the fairways

          • rs dasai

            Use an umbrella.

    • rs dasai

      Are you suggesting that Dr. Jagdeo, The Leader of the Opposition should not submit another list as it is not requires by the Constitution? So what are you doing about it?

  • rudeo

    the charade continues…..Guyana must be swiftly qualifying for being a “failed state”….a la KIssoon

    • Col123

      Hey Rud..feddie is a failure himself…unless you are impressed with all his Greek mythological BS which is not relevant to contemporary living…the dude belongs on couple of acres of land with his dog at Wismar..that will wake up the SOB!

  • rs dasai

    Are you asserting that both the President and the Leader of the Opposition are in breach of the Constitution? Both of them?? Jeezs. And does this action of the two Top Guys in the country call for someone to petion the High Courts on this matter? You seem to have a good point. But , in which direction? Enjoy the rain.

    • Col123

      Hey RS…that’s above my pension grade!… I know how to fit something proper… but I don’t know what fit and proper is… one step further… I can sing and I can dance, but I can’t sing and dance… old Sammy Davis western movie…the short game chipping and putting is a killer… the ball isn’t moving… enjoy the cricket… google has a nice front page today which takes you straight in to the Pakistan victory with three wickets..

      • rs dasai

        It will be a very good final between Ind & Pak.

        • Col123

          That will be a noisy venue with deafening Pakistan zindabaad..and those Indians countering with kettle drums .. you’re right… I saw them in England that year Ramdin was banned from a match, due to a fake call/catch??