Granger probably not serious about judicial appointments – Jagdeo

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One day after President David Granger contended that reasons must be given for the rejection of his nominees for the top judicial posts, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo reminded that the Head-of-State had staunchly refused to justify his denunciation of the opposition’s nominees for Chairman of the Elections Commission.

There is a current deadlock on the substantive appointments of Chancellor and Chief Justice, following Jagdeo’s refusal of the President’s nominee; Justice Kenneth Benjamin for the post of Chancellor. Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards was tipped to be the new Chief Justice following the appointment of Justice Benjamin. 

No progress has since been made and Mr Granger signalled yesterday that the gridlock could end if Jagdeo justifies his rejection of the nominees.

But Jagdeo found this proposition to be unreasonable. “You recall this very president saying he doesn’t have to give reasons for rejecting the 18 names I submitted to him,” he pointed out, referring to his nominees for the position of Chairman of the Elections Commission.

“He didn’t have a problem with dissing them without any reason and now he wants me to justify my rejection of chancellor and chief justice nominees.”

When probed about whether his refusal to justify his rejection is premised on the President’s withholding of reasons for rejecting the Opposition’s nominees for the Chair the country’s Elections Body, Jagdeo suggested that Mr Granger does not seem serious about the process.

“I’m not even sure the president is serious about his nominees…because of how he has approached the entire matter,” the Opposition Leader said.

Jagdeo indicated if the Head-of-State truly wants justifications, he will have his desire communicated officially.

“I don’t conduct constitutional matters based on what I read in the newspapers. There is a process to this matter. You write me. This is not a cake shop,” he contended.

There has been no progress on the substantive appointments in the hierarchy of the judiciary since former Chancellor Desiree Bernard demitted office in 2005.

Chancellors and Chief Justices have only been acting in those capacities since there was never an agreement between the Leader of the Opposition and President – which is required by the Constitution of Guyana.

 

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