Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has not found favour with the President’s nominees for the two top Judicial posts in the country, essentially blocking the appointment of Justice Kenneth Benjamin as Chancellor of the Judiciary and Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards as the Chief Justice.
Justice Benjamin is currently the Chief Justice of Belize while Justice Cummings-Edwards is currently the acting Chancellor of Guyana.
In a letter to President David Granger yesterday, Mr. Jagdeo indicated that he would not be able to support the two nominees who were put forward by the President, in keeping with the Constitution.
The Constitution requires the President to provide the nominees for the top judicial posts, but those nominees would have to receive the agreement of the Opposition Leader for the appointments to move forward.
With Jagdeo not agreeing with the nominees, the President could either put forward new nominees and hope that Jagdeo agrees to the new ones, or continue to allow acting appointments in the two top positions.
Guyana has come under criticism from the head of the Caribbean Court of Justice for not having the two top judicial posts filled.
Last evening, the Opposition Leader was a no show for a scheduled meeting with the President on the nomination issue for the top judicial posts.
A photograph released by the Ministry of the Presidency showed the President along with his Attorney General and the Minister of State staring at empty chairs as they awaited Jagdeo’s arrival.
In a later statement, Mr. Jagdeo said the photo release was a publicity stunt, pointing out that he dispatched the letters with his decision earlier yesterday and did not receive any new information that the meeting, which he had agreed to a month ago, was still confirmed.