Another meeting ‘soon’ between President, Opposition Leader – Harmon

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Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon has refuted statements made by member of the Opposition Gail Teixeira that talks have discontinued between the Government and the Opposition on the nominations for the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Harmon in response to statements by Teixeira Wednesday said he “expects that a meeting will be soon held between the President and Opposition Leader.”

Teixeira claimed that “It is unbelievable that one week has passed and no meeting has been scheduled for the continuation of discussions at the informal level either between the Leader of the Opposition and the President or with their emissaries.

“We, in the Parliamentary Opposition, thought that we were making progress in the informal engagement, albeit slow, with 4 names that are “not unacceptable” to the President.”

But Harmon noted that at no point were talks either discontinued by the Government or was the Opposition disengaged.

Opposition and Government teams meeting on July 11, 2019. [Ministry of the Presidency photo]
“Talks were never broken off. Both sides have been in touch since the last meeting and as we speak, arrangements are being made to have an engagement between the President and the Leader of the Opposition and this should take place very soon,” he said.

Harmon noted that from July 4 to date, there have been four meetings between the representatives of the President and the Leader of the Opposition with the view of “hammering” out the list of names submitted by both parties.

There have also been two meetings between President David Granger and the Opposition Leader during that time – on July 4th and July 16th, 2019.

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.”

President David Granger noted that discussions to select a new chair could end in gridlock if the Opposition does accept the role of the President in finding suitable candidates for the position.

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