President finds four nominees ‘not unacceptable’ for GECOM Chair

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From the list of five persons shortlisted for the post of a new GECOM Chair, President David Granger has found four persons to be “not unacceptable.”

The President and the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo met late Tuesday at the Ministry of the Presidency where a “broad agreement” was reached, the Head of State told a press briefing immediately after the meeting.

In reading from a joint statement following the meeting, Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon said the two sides also agreed that as part of the “hammering out process” the two names suggested by President Granger and “other names as necessary” will be discussed further at a meeting slated for Wednesday.

The President had shortlisted Attorney Kesaundra Alves and Justice Claudette La Bennett from a previous list of eight he had suggested.

A working group was established by the President and Opposition Leader to ‘hammer out’ a list of six persons to be submitted to the President so a new Chair can be appointed but talks between the two sides broke down last Thursday.

The Opposition had said it could get no clear indication from the Government of which names the President definitely has no problems with.

According to the President, a new “smaller working group” will meet Wednesday.

The two sides were urged by the CCJ in its June 18th ruling to ‘hammer out’ a list of names to select a new chairman after it was found that the process used to appoint the previous chairman was flawed.

At the end of the meeting, Mr Jagdeo read the full statement to the media and did not want to offer further comments on the meeting so as to “avoid any confusion.”

See full statement below:

JOINT STATEMENT

By His Excellency President David Granger and Mr Bharrat Jagdeo, Leader of the Opposition

The President accompanied by Mr Joseph Harmon, Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency and the Leader of the Opposition along with Mr Irfaan Ali, MP, met today to discuss the appointment of a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission.

It was agreed −

  1. that from the list of five names shortlisted by the working group, four were found not unacceptable to the President; and

 

  1. as part of the hammering-out process, the two names suggested by the President and others as may be necessary, will be discussed further.

 

The Parties agreed to continue meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, 2019.07.17.

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