Four Opposition nominees shortlisted for GECOM Chair
By Bibi Khatoon
Of the eleven names submitted by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo for consideration of the next Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, the Government has rejected five, shortlisted four and two are under “active consideration” Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon told reporters Tuesday.
Shortly after a two-hour meeting with the Opposition concluded Tuesday at Castellani House on Homestretch Avenue in Georgetown, Harmon told reporters that the five names were rejected with “reasons” but he did not want to reveal the names.
“We have agreed not to make these names public because there are considerations to the persons’ standing in society and how it might affect them,” Harmon said.
Further pressed for reasons for rejecting the five, Harmon said, “I will not state any further as some of them are for security reasons and there are others.”
The Opposition Leader submitted Environmentalist Annette Arjoon-Martins, Justice of Appeal B.S Roy (ret’d), Captain Gerry Gouveia, Major General (ret’d) Joseph Singh, Attorney-at-law Mr. Kashir Khan, former Senior Magistrate Krishnadatt Persaud, Human Rights & Conflict Resolution Consultant Lawrence Latchmansingh, Major General (ret’d) Norman McLean, Onesi LaFleur, Former Chair of the Private Sector Commission Ramesh Dookhoo and Puisne Judge (ret’d) William Ramlall for consideration.
Those names were taken from eighteen submitted in 2017 to President David Granger when they were rejected without reason.
The Government and Opposition teams are slated to meet again on Thursday where they will examine the eight names submitted by the President.
Those names are: former GECOM Chair, Justice (ret’d) James Patterson, Philanthropist/former PNCR Executive Member Stanley Ming, Attorney-at-law and Chair of the GPHC Board, Kessaundra Alves, Economist Dr Aubrey Armstrong, former PNCR Executive Member Kadim Khan, Attorney-at-law/Former Solicitor General Kim Kyte-Thomas and Justice retired Claudette LaBennett and Stanley Moore.
When questioned how serious Government is taking this process given the fact that two names submitted by the President include former PNCR executive members, Mr. Ming and Dr. Armstrong, the Director-General said: “these are people who have offered themselves for public service, these are citizens of quality and it is now for the teams to hammer out. In the hammering out process, some will fall out and some will remain.”
The Leader of the Opposition is also expected to submit additional names for consideration on Thursday.
Harmon along with Ministers of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan and Public Health, Volda Lawrence represents the President in these engagements while People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Members Gail Teixeira, Anil Nandlall and Bishop Juan Edghill represent the Opposition Leader.
The Opposition members left Castellani House without engaging the press Tuesday.