With the Guyana Bar Association and the opposition, People’s Progressive Party both threatening legal action over the President’s appointment of a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, President Granger has brushed aside assertions that he needed to provide reasons for rejecting the 18 names submitted to him by the Opposition Leader.
“I do not know that requirement is enshrined in the constitution,” Mr. Granger told reporters at State House on Monday.
President David Granger on Thursday informed the Opposition Leader that he had moved to appoint retired Justice James Patterson as the new GECOM Chair, following almost a year of consultations with the Opposition Leader and the failure of the Opposition Leader to provide him with a list of nominees that was not unacceptable.
The Bar Association had called on the President over the weekend to give reasons for rejecting the 18 nominees submitted by Jagdeo.
The President in direct response said he wants to be careful about the judgment of a person’s character and their capabilities.
The Bar Association in a statement, cited the ruling by the Chief Justice in a Court matter and interpreted it to mean that the Head of State must give reasons for not accepting the nominees.
But President Granger believes that is not the case.
He said he will have to be advised further, but he does not see anything in the Constitution that requires him to give a reason.
The President said he intends not to contradict the Chief Justice and as such, he is awaiting further advice on the matter.
“I have not been advised that is a requirement that is enforceable, I do not know that it is enforceable”, Mr. Granger told reporters.
“Do not judge what occurred at the conclusion of the negotiations as the totality. This process started a year ago when the PPP started to hound Dr. Surujbally out of office and the matter was dragged on for an entire year and the people of this country demand, the people of this country deserve and need to have a functioning Elections Commission.”
Mr. Granger said despite the submission of three separate lists, he could not allow the process to go on at the “whims and fancies” of the Opposition Leader.
He said he acted at all material times within the Constitution. (by Kurt Campbell)