Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday announced that 10 persons have been shortlisted for the post of chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and already one of them has declined.
“We shortlisted 10 persons so from the 10 we have to go down to the first six that we’ll talk to but…one of the ten has already say to me ‘no, I don’t want to be subject to public humiliation’ so I’ll now have to talk one-on-one with those people so over the next few days I’ll do that,” he told a news conference at his office located on Church Street, Georgetown.
Jagdeo said a number of the nominees are from the legal fraternity and the others are from the category of “fit and proper”.
The Opposition Leader could not immediately say when he would be submitting the third list of six nominees because many of them would have to consult with their families. “It’s not almost a process that you can shortcut,” he said
Whenever Jagdeo submits this list, it would be the third list of six persons that he would have submitted since last year. President David Granger has already rejected those lists, saying that that priority should be given to either a judge, retired judge, or someone eligible to be judge instead of merely a fit and proper person.
Jagdeo said the third list would not include names from the first two lists because “if I do, that could be another excuse of the President to say ‘look he is being provocative’.
The latest list of rejected nominees is made up of 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 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 February, 2017 when Dr. Steve Surujbally retired after a 15-year tenure.
The High Court is next week due to give its interpretation of the constitutional provision on the appointment of a GECOM Chairman, at the request of city businessman, Marcel Gaskin.