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PPP to hold public interaction on the appointment of GECOM’s Chair

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The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) today (Tuesday, January 17, 2017) says it will be holding a Public Forum to sensitise the public on the importance of adhering to the democratic process of appointing a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), on Friday, January 20, 2017.

According to a statement on Tuesday, the Party says “this is crucial to safeguarding the country’s hard-earned democracy especially in the context of the worrying signs the government is sending following the President’s rejection of a list of potential candidates for the position and the numerous, inconsistent and strained interpretations which been placed upon the relevant powers of the Constitution, in respect to this issue.”

They’ve also alluded that H.E. David Granger is the first President between 1992-present to have rejected a list of names submitted by the Leader of the Opposition as required by the Constitution.

The Party says it sees this as an ominous sign and an attempt by the government to derail the Constitutional process of appointment and to “unilaterally install a Chairman of its choice in contravention of the letter and spirit of the Constitution.” It added that this poses a grave threat to the nation’s democracy.

However, during a media conference on Friday, January 13, 2017, Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan in voicing his support for the President’s decision noted that “it was very fortunate that the then President and the Opposition leader managed to find favour with a name in the first list.”

The forum will be addressed by the Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo; former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall; Mr. Nigel Hinds and other representatives of Civil Society. It is open to the general public who will be given an opportunity to contribute if desired and to seek clarification through questions where necessary. The PPP believes that the forum as intended is an extremely valuable mechanism to keep Guyanese informed on the process and the potential impact of its derailment.

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