Jagdeo could propose foreigner to head GECOM

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Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has said he has begun consultations to come up with a new list of persons to head the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM); he said he is also considering persons from overseas.

According to Jagdeo, he can propose names of persons from anywhere in the Commonwealth, given President David Granger’s refusal of three lists he submitted before.

The Constitution requires the President to consult with the Opposition Leader in appointing a Chairman for GECOM.

Justice (rt’d) James Patterson, the Chairman appointed unilaterally by the President on October 19, 2017, left the job on Monday after the Caribbean Court of Justice ruled that his appointment was unconstitutional.

The President had appointed Patterson because he said the three lists submitted to him by Jagdeo were not “unacceptable” to him as the Constitution requires.

With a new Chairman needed, Jagdeo said he will first ask the President if any of the 18 persons on the three lists he submitted before are acceptable to him.

If they are, Jagdeo said he will submit those names on a fresh list, however, if none of the 18 names are favourable, Jagdeo said he will submit six new names.

But he said he prefers the consensual method the Caribbean Court of Justice suggested, namely that the President, on consultation, decides on six names from which he can pick one.

Jagdeo said he was happy that Patterson had resigned and he is prepared to meet with the President face to face, continuously, so the new chairman can be selected.

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