With his first list of nominees for the post of Elections Commission Chairman rejected by the President, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has now decided that he will submit a new list.
Mr. Jagdeo was asked by the President back in January to submit a new list, but he instead sought clarification from the President about his interpretation of the Constitutional requirements for the GECOM job.
That request led to meetings between the Attorney General and the legal representatives for the Opposition Leader.
This evening in a statement, the PPP announced that in the interest of moving the process forward, the Opposition Leader has indicated to the President that he will be submitting a new list of nominees.
The statement came on the same day that the outgoing Chairman of the Elections Commission hosted his farewell press conference.
The President has been making it clear that he believes the nominees should be Judges, former Judges, qualified to serve as Judges or fit and proper with the same qualities of a Judge. He has said that is his interpretation of the Constitutional requirements.
See Full PPP statement below:
“The People’s Progress Party (PPP) has examined the interpretation of Article 161 (2) of the Constitution of Guyana, proffered by Attorney General, Basil Williams, in the recently concluded engagement with Cde Anil Nandlall and Priya Manikchand. While we do not agree with Williams’ interpretation, we recognise that he has finally conceded that Article 161 (2) of the Constitution qualifies two categories of persons for the positon of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), namely: Judges, former Judges and person qualify to hold the position of Judges AND, or any other fit and proper person.
However, in our view, the Constitution does not accord any preference whatsoever to one of these categories of persons over the other as Williams contends. Neither the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution confers such a bias. We are of the firm view that persons from either of these categories are equally qualified for the position of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). Our position is consistent with the historical evolution of this particular Article of the Constitution, as well as, the qualities and qualifications of the persons who have held this position since this Article came into force.
Notwithstanding and in the interest of moving the process forward, today, the Leader of the Opposition wrote to the President requesting some additional clarifications and informed him that six (6) names will be submitted to him shortly in accordance with Article 161 (2) of the Constitution.”