The Government of Guyana has dismissed the formula put forward by Opposition Leader David Granger for the appointment of the Chancellor of the Judiciary and the Chief Justice.
At a Wednesday press conference, the Government’s chief spokesman, Dr. Roger Luncheon said the Opposition Leader’s role in the appointment of the Chancellor and the Chief Justice is limited and he should only “agree or disagree” with the President’s nominees.
The Cabinet Secretary explained that Granger’s role is not have an input in the appointments or to suggest an alternative way of making the appointments, “it’s merely to agree or not to agree”. He said President Donald Ramotar has already indicated that he does not agree with the proposal put forward by the Opposition Leader.
Mr. Granger said earlier in the week that when he met with President Ramotar in March, 2013, he offered a new formula for the selection of the appointments. The Granger formula would see the posts for Chancellor of the Judiciary and Chief Justice being advertised, and qualified jurists being allowed to apply for the positions. He said a special panel would be put in place to select the best qualified and most suitable persons for the job.
Today, Dr. Luncheon said “the President in unmistakable terms expressed his unwillingness to go down that road”. The Government wants to confirm Acting Chancellor Carl Singh and Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang to the two positions, but under the Constitution of Guyana, the President would have to get the agreement of the Leader of the Opposition for the appointments to be made.
There has been a deadlock in getting that agreement for eight years and the Opposition Leader David Granger explained to News Source that his formula is the only “new idea” offered in the past eight years to break the deadlock and ought to be taken on board. He said if Justices Singh and Chang want to be confirmed in the positions, they would have to apply under his plan. He said he wants a transparent process that all Guyanese would embrace.
Dr. Luncheon however, said Granger’s proposal falls outside of the constitutional provisions and would be an all new route which the Government is not prepared to embrace at this time.
Acting Chancellor Carl Singh is the substantive Chief Justice while the Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang is a substantive Justice of Appeal.