Opposition Leader Joe Harmon has issued a call on President Irfaan Ali to begin the consultation process to confirm Justice Yonette Cummings as the substantive Chancellor of the Judiciary and Justice Roxann George as the substantive Chief Justice.
The two Judges have been acting in the top judicial positions for the past three years.
Under the Constitution, the appointments can only be confirmed with the agreement of both the President and the Opposition Leader.
The Opposition Leader has already committed to supporting the appointment of Cummings and George.
Under the APNU+AFC Government, an effort to fill the Chancellor’s spot with an overseas based Guyanese Judge and the Chief Justice’s spot with Justice Cummings was not supported by the then Opposition PPP.
With no substantive Chancellor and Chief Justice in place for the past two decades, Mr. Harmon used his International Women’s Day message to throw his support behind Justices Cummings and George and call on the President to move ahead with the appointments.
“Irfaan Ali has to take the steps to ensure that those two women are confirmed in their jobs. I am prepared to do what is necessary to ensure that it happens. They must be confirmed in those positions”, Harmon stated.
Mr. Harmon said it is important for the appointments to be confirmed.
“This question about keeping people in an acting position and keeping them in an acting position, it’s a way of controlling people, it’s a way of holding your feet, it’s a way of preventing you from taking actions, you should take,” Harmon emphasized.
The Constitution makes it clear that the Chancellor and the Chief Justice shall be appointed by the President after obtaining the agreement of the Leader of the Opposition.
President Irfaan Ali has locked the door on any consultations with the Opposition Leader, claiming that he will not hold any such consultations until the Opposition Leader publicly recognises him as the legitimate President.
Mr. Harmon has reminded the President that the Leader of the Opposition’s office is a Constitutional one and the Constitution demands that there be consultation between the two on a number of issues. He has stated that there are no pre-conditions for consultation between the two.
When the APNU+AFC took office in 2015, the PPP had also claimed that the then government was illegitimate, but the then Opposition Leader was still invited by the then President to meet and have consultations on national issues.
All of those invitations were accepted and the consultations were held.