Appointment of GECOM chair could end in gridlock

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The engagement between President David Granger and Opposition Leader to select a new Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM could end in gridlock, according to the Head-of-State who noted that the Opposition must accept the role of the President in finding suitable candidates for the position.

“Unless we accept that principle, we will end up in gridlock and that is what we are heading for if the Opposition continues to deny the President a role in hammering out that list,” the Head of State said during a recorded interview with Deputy Director of the Press and Publicity Unit of the Ministry of the Presidency Ariana Gordon.

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.

But three meetings between representatives of both leaders broke down and the Opposition Leader rejected the two suggestions made by the President while the President said he found four of Jagdeo’s nominees “not unacceptable.”

“It will be spurious if the Opposition insists on exclusively crafting that list [or] unilaterally crafting that list. The CCJ ruling makes it impossible for that to occur.

“It is a recipe for gridlock,” the President said.

Repeatedly pointing out that the aim of the CCJ’s ruling is to ensure there is consensus, the President said there must be a compromise in the selection process.

Mr Granger said he cannot simply sit and wait for a list to be submitted by the Opposition Leader as this process failed in 2017 which forced him to enact the proviso in the Constitution which empowers him to make a unilateral appointment.

“I am not a passive observer, I am an active participant,” he said.

Mr Granger said it is misleading to say that he is not acting in good faith since he has cooperated with the process from the inception.

The last meeting between the two sides took place on Wednesday where the Opposition Leader submitted four additional names for consideration by the President.

The two sides have to hammer out a final list of six persons which will be formally submitted to President so he can decide who will be the next GECOM Chair.

It is not known when the next meeting will be held.

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