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Bar Council expresses concern with delay in appointment of GECOM Chair

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The Bar Council of The Guyana Bar Association notes with concern that there has not yet been agreement on the appointment of the Chairman of the Elections Commission.

“It is of paramount importance that this constitutional office be urgently filled since the position has been vacant since November 2016,” the Council said.

It is the considered view of the  Bar  Council that  the power created  by  Article 161(2)  of the Constitution to decide on the selection or non-selection of a person for appointment is a public law power, subject to the standards applicable to judicial review of such power.

As such, it noted that “the decision made must be objectively reasonable in the sense that it must not be a decision that no reasonable person asked to make that decision would reach.”

The Council says it hopes that the impending meeting between the President and the Opposition Leader “will lead to a speedy resolution of this matter of urgent national importance.”

During a Press Conference on Thursday (June 08, 2017), the Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo told reporters that the Head of State can either ask for a third list, insist to unilaterally make the appointment, or pledge to work together to appoint someone who is impartial to govern the elections body.

Jagdeo said he presently has no position which he will take during the meeting however he noted that he would consult with the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) ahead of the discussion with the President. Regarding the submission of a third list, however, the Opposition Leader noted that the search would be challenging and he committed to communicating this to the Head of State.

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