One day after Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo announced that he has submitted his six nominees for the post of Elections Commission Chairman to the President, the President is requesting that he now submits the curriculum vitae for the nominees.
In a release from the Ministry of the Presidency, the President is quoted as saying that “I replied to him right away because although those six names might be known to the public, I could not be sure that their nominations were in accordance with the Constitution. I have asked him to let me have copies of the Curriculum Vitae of each one so that it can guide me in making my decision.”
He said that the ball is now in Mr. Jagdeo’s court and “I would say let me have the resume for the persons so we can go ahead with this process. It is very important that we have a Chairman as early as possible”.
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 Constitution also outlines that the post of Chairmanship must be a full-time appointment and the holder must not engage in any form of employment.”
The former Chairman of GECOM, Dr. Steve Surujbally’s resignation became effective as of November 30 after 15 years of holding the post.
The persons nominated for the position by the Opposition Leader are Chartered Accountant and Political Analyst, Christopher Ram, Business Executive, Ramesh Dookoo, Former Director of Culture, Professor James Rose, Governance Consultant, Lawrence Lachmansingh, Businesswoman and former television executive Ryhaan Shaw and retired Major General Normal McLean.