PPP to legally challenge appointment of GECOM Chairman

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Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo has made it clear that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) will move to the courts to challenge the appointment of the new Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), retired Judge, Justice James Patterson.

Justice James Patterson

Patterson is a legal advisor to the country’s Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Basil Williams.

At an emergency press conference on Thursday evening at his Church Street Office, Jagdeo was flanked by other PPP executive members, where he noted that President David Granger’s unilateral selection of a GECOM Chair is a “fundamental assault on democracy.”

“We’re prepared to have the country go into a constitutional crisis if we can’t have elections in time… we’re not going to cut corners in the fight for democracy or freedom for this country,” the Opposition Leader declared.

He said the PPP is prepared to take the case all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and the matter should reach the High Court as early as next week.

President David Granger

Jagdeo described Granger as an “untrustworthy” President and insinuated that he [Granger] played a significant role in the army under Burnham’s rule of rigged elections.

President Granger met with Jagdeo on Thursday afternoon at State House, where he informed the Opposition Leader of his decision to appoint Justice Patterson – who was not included in any of the three lists of nominees which were submitted by Jagdeo. According to Jagdeo, he told the President to his face that he [Granger] is “acting in bad faith.”

With the President choosing outside of the lists, Jagdeo said that the decision is “unconstitutional.”

“You cannot take him [Granger] at face value…he lied to this country…he and his minions have lied to this country,” Jagdeo said.

According to the Opposition Leader, the PPP will now refuse to cooperate with the APNU+AFC government in the future and will encourage their supporters to do the same.

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