President refuses second list of nominees for GECOM Chair
President David Granger has refused the second list of nominees for Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) which he said he has found to be “unacceptable within the meaning of the Constitution” and of the criteria previously defined.
Article 161 (2) of the Constitution states that the GECOM Chair should be appointed by the President “…from a list of six persons, not unacceptable to the President…”
Significantly, the letter does not indicate what next steps, if any the President requires to be taken. This was also pointed out by Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo in a statement to the media.
This letter was received a few hours after the Leader of the Opposition concluded a press conference on Friday afternoon (June 02, 2017), during which he was critical of the President’s approach to the matter.
Jagdeo notes that “the President continues to express no confidence in and denigrate the professional reputation, integrity and competence of Guyanese of high calibre who have rendered sterling contributions to the development of our country and in service to our people and who have distinguished themselves in their individual endeavours and pursuits.”
The Opposition Leader assures that “should the President proceed along this unconstitutional, undemocratic and diabolical path”, there will be litigation and other consequences for which the President will be responsible.
Jagdeo’s first list of candidates for the position included Former Army Chief, Norman Mc Lean, Attorney and Political Analyst, Christopher Ram, Former Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Ramesh Dookhoo, Peace and Governance Consultant, Lawrence Lachmansingh, Businesswoman, Rhyaan Shah and Professor Dr. James Rose.
This list was also refused on the basis that it was “unacceptable” following which consultation was hosted with the Attorney General, Basil Williams to determine the qualities which the President is looking for.
The second list comprised of Justice of Appeal B.S Roy (ret’d), Justice William Ramlall (ret’d), Ms. Oneidge Walrond-Allicock, Attorney-at-law and a former Magistrate, Mr. Kashir Khan, Attorney-at-law, Ms. Nadia Sagar, Attorney-at-law and Mr. Gerald Gouveia.