President David Granger on Sunday announced that the six nominees put forward by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo for the position of Chairman of the Elections Commission, are all “unacceptable”, since they do not meet the constitutional requirements for the post.
Speaking at a media brunch at his State House residence, the President told members of the media that the nominees submitted by the Opposition Leader “are just names”.
He reminded that the constitution of Guyana, Article 161 (2) states that “…the Chairman of the Elections Commission shall be a person who holds or who has held office as a Judge of a Court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a Court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court or who is qualified to be appointed as any such Judge, or any other fit and proper person, to be appointed by the President from a list of six persons, not unacceptable to the President, submitted by the Leader of the Opposition after meaningful consultation with the non-governmental political parties represented in the National Assembly. Provided that if the Leader of the Opposition fails to submit a list as provided for, the President shall appoint a person who holds or has held office as a Judge of a Court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a Court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such Court or who is qualified to be appointed as any such judge.”
The President does not believe that any of the persons on Jagdeo’s nomination list meets the requirements. The Opposition Leader will now be expected to submit another list of nominees and if the President fails to find favour with any of the nominees, he will then move to make the appointment himself.
Just after Mr. Jagdeo submitted the list, President Granger requested their resumés and invoked the constitutional requirements. He received the resumés of the nominees and had remain quiet on the issue until this morning’s statement.
The six persons who were nominated by the Opposition Leader for the GECOM Chairman job are Chartered Accountant and Political Analyst, Christopher Ram, former GTV Chief Executive Officer and business woman, Rhyann Shaw, Private Sector Executive Ramesh Dookoo, Governance Consultant Lawrence Latchmansingh, Culture Director, James Rose and retired Major General, Normal McLean.