Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is making it clear that the ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice on the issue of the Elections Commission Chairman has not changed the Guyana Constitution.
The CCJ in its ruling found that the President’s unilateral appointment of a GECOM Chairman was flawed and not in keeping with the Constitution.
The body also recommended that in the search for a new Chairman, the President and the Leader of the Opposition should meet and consult on possible nominees before a final list of nominees is submitted to the President for his appointment.
The Consultations have started and with the Opposition Leader indicating that he was not averse to the President offering some suggestions for possible candidate, the President has offered suggestions while rejecting five of the resubmitted eleven nominees by the Opposition Leader.
In a statement last evening, the Opposition Leader reminded that when it comes to the submission of nominees, the Constitution has not been changed and it is the Leader of the Opposition who still has to submit the list of nominees
“The eight names submitted by the President, I don’t have anything adverse to say about those individuals. I do not want to engage in a public process in destroying people’s characters. I have nothing adverse to say about them. The President has made his suggestions in line with my letter and I am prepared to consider the names to see whether they will be included in my final six that I will submit to him”, Jagdeo said.
Mr. Jagdeo said the process that has been ongoing between representatives of the President and the Leader of the Opposition is an informal one and the formal process will begin when he submits the six names for the President to consider.
Following yesterday’s meeting, one of the President’s representatives, Director-General Joe Harmon, said he is hoping that at the continuation of the meeting on Thursday, the two sides will look at the eight names suggested by the President. He also indicated that it is likely that the Opposition Leader might put forward additional names as the two sides attempt to “hammer out” possible nominees.
In an address to the nation on Tuesday, President David Granger said his government remains committed to the process in keeping with the CCJ’s ruling and the agreement with the Opposition Leader.
The two sides are hoping to move the process along to the formal stage within a matter of days.