Marcel Gaskin, the civilian who asked the court to rule on the constitutionality of President David Granger’s rejection of the list of nominees for the post of GECOM Chairman, has decided to appeal the High Court’s ruling which was handed down today.
Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire (AG) ruled against Granger’s interpretation that each nominee must be of a judge-type.
In a statement to the media, Gaskin said the ruling has brought a lot of clarity on the issue regarding the appointment of a new Chairman of the GECOM but at the same time, he said it created unnecessary confusion.
He noted that the Chief Justice supported his contention that the six names submitted by the Leader of the Opposition does not require the inclusion of a judge, a former judge or someone qualified to be a judge.
Her ruling also supports his view that the President is required to state reasons for deeming any and every of the six nominees unacceptable.
Further, the Chief Justice ruled that the entire list should not be rendered unacceptable if just one person is deemed unworthy or unqualified for the position.
But despite these rulings, Gaskin is not satisfied.
“In my view, the Honourable Chief Justice went beyond what was asked by me of the Court in addressing the proviso to Article 161 (2) of the Constitution which only applies if the Leader of the Opposition fails to submit a list. This was never an issue for us since the Leader of the Opposition submitted not one but two lists of persons for nomination as Chairman of GECOM,” he stated.
Gaskin said it is unfortunate that the Chief Justice ruled that the President is not obliged to select a person from the six names on the list unless he has determined positively that the persons thereon are unacceptable as a fit and proper person for appointment.
According to Gaskin, this is “a gross error” and it creates unnecessary misunderstanding and confusion.
As a result, Gaskin said he has instructed his Attorneys to immediately lodge a Notice of Appeal.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is currently in the process of submitting a third list of nominees to the President, following the rejection of the previous two submissions.
When contacted by News Room, he declined to comment on the ruling – saying he needed to firstly acquaint himself with all the facts.
However, he had previously noted that he will proceed with the submission of a third list regardless of the outcome of the ruling on this case.
Jagdeo and the President had agreed at their last meeting to set up a high-level team to work together on the compilation of a list of acceptable nominees to submit for consideration for the post of GECOM Chairman in the event the third list is rejected.