President Granger says committed to selecting GECOM Chair through credible process

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President David Granger says he is committed to continuing dialogue with the Opposition to ensure that the new Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is selected through a “credible process.”

A statement from the Head of State Tuesday noted that he remains hopeful to concluding the meetings with the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) so that he can select the new Chair within days “to enable the Elections Commission to function. Once done, Guyanese can expect credible elections in the shortest possible time.”

“The President, acting on the advice of the Elections Commission that it is ready to conduct elections, will proclaim a date for those elections. This necessitates the Chairman of GECOM being in place as early as possible,” the Head-of-State said in his statement.

Following the first meeting between the Government and the Opposition Monday, PPP’s Executive Members Gail Teixeira and Anil Nandlall expressed concern that the President will use the powers granted to him in the constitution to appoint someone of his own if he is not satisfied with the nominees put forward by the Opposition Leader.

The President used his powers and made the unilateral appointment of the former GECOM Chairman Justice (Rt’d) James Patterson, which led to a legal challenge that reached all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

The CCJ then ruled that the process used by the President to appoint Patterson was flawed forcing Patterson to demit office.

The CCJ then advised both the Government and the Opposition to meet and decide on a new list from which the President can choose a new Chairman.

At the moment, there are 19 nominees for the post of GECOM Chair – 11 were submitted by the Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo and eight by the President.

The two sides now have to decide six of the names for the final list which has to be submitted to the President for the selection of a GECOM Chair.

The President, in his statement Tuesday reiterated that he has the authority to decide that “one or more of the names, or indeed the entire list, is unacceptable.”

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