Gov’t has no intention of delaying next elections- Harmon

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Minister of State, Joseph Harmon yesterday (Friday, June 09, 2017) sought to dispel claims that the delay in the appointment of the next Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chair is part of a plan to lengthen the Coalition’s term in office.

“The administration of David Granger (President) has made it clear that we have no intention of either lengthening or shortening the term of office. At the time when elections are to be called, they will be called,” Harmon said in response to a question posed during his Post-Cabinet Media Conference.

He added that “the process of the selection of the GECOM Chairman is still within the domain of consultations between the Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo and the President and so I would wish to leave it there.”

The Leader of the Opposition is to meet with the President on Monday, June 12 at 18:00hrs at State House on the appointment of the next Chair of the Elections body.

The minister was also asked about the President’s decision to proceed with the Monday’s meeting given the pending outcome of local businessman Marcel Gaskin’s High Court challenge to the constitutionality of his rejection of the Opposition Leader’s list of nominees for the position of GECOM Chairman.

“The deliberations in the High Court as I understand it is for an interpretation to be given as to what is really fit and proper; an interpretation of the constitution which is seeking to say, that the president has to act in a certain way,” the minister said.

While the minister stated that he did not want what to prejudge what would be the ruling of the High Court, he noted that “there is nothing in the law that seeks to fetter the discretion of the president in matters of these nature.”

President Granger has rejected two lists of names submitted by the Leader of the Opposition on the basis that the list was “unacceptable.”

The nominees that were rejected on the first list include Ramesh Dookhoo, Lawrence Latchmansingh, Major General (Rt’d) Norman McLean, Christopher Ram, Professor James Rose and Rhyaan Shaw.

Justice of Appeal B.S Roy, retired Justice William Ramlall, Attorney and former Magistrate Oneidge Walrond Allicock, Attorney Kashir Khan, Attorney Nadia Sagar and Captain Gerald Gouveia are the persons who were rejected on the second list submitted.

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