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President suggests Opposition meets with Attorney General on GECOM Chair

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President David Granger is suggesting that someone from the Opposition Leader’s office meet with Attorney General, Basil Williams to discuss concerns relating to the appointment of the next GECOM chair.

Below is a statement from the Opposition Leader’s Office;

On the 5th of January, 2017, the Leader of the Opposition received a letter from President David Granger, informing him that the list of nominees which the Leader of the Opposition had submitted to the President for the appointment of a Chairman of GECOM was “unacceptable within the meaning of the Constitution”. In that letter, the President requested “a new list of persons who are not unacceptable”.

As a result, by letter dated 10th January, 2017, the Leader of the Opposition wrote to the President requesting certain clarifications on the President’s interpretation of Article 161(2) of the Constitution and a meeting to discuss the matter. This request became of even greater importance because of certain interpretations which the President placed upon Article 161(2) when he spoke to the media at a State House function.

On the 11th of January, 2017, while speaking to the media, the President indicated that the “legal clarifications”, which the Leader of the Opposition has requested will be provided.

Earlier today, the media has, again, reported the President as saying that he will provide the clarifications requested.

Late this afternoon, the Leader of the Opposition received a letter from the President, which does not provide the clarifications that the President promised. Instead, the President proposed that a meeting be held between Attorney General, Mr. Basil Williams and a person of the Leader of the Opposition’s choice “in order to avoid further misinterpretation or misunderstanding of this important constitutional matter”.

We are disappointed that the clarifications that we requested have not been furnished. We are further disappointed that the President is unprepared to meet with the Leader of the Opposition on a matter of such crucial national importance. We had hoped that such a meeting would have exposed the President to a view that is different from that of the Attorney General, whom we presume, is advising the President on this matter.

Nevertheless, in the best interest of the nation, the Leader of the Opposition will accede to the President’s request, since we are committed to protecting the democratic process, which the Guyanese people so valiantly and tirelessly struggled to establish.  It is our hope that this engagement will provide the requisite clarity and will move the process closer to an early resolution.

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