Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, this evening, expressed disappointment at not being provided with the clarification he wants from the President on his decision to reject the first list of nominees for the GECOM Chairmanship job.
Jagdeo sought the clarification last week and was hoping for a face to face meeting with the President on the issue. Instead, the President has now asked him to send a representative to meet with the Attorney General on the issue.
In a statement issued this evening, the Opposition Leader said “in the best interest of the nation, the Leader of the Opposition will accede to the President’s request, since we are committed to protecting the democratic process, which the Guyanese people so valiantly and tirelessly struggled to establish. It is our hope that this engagement will provide the requisite clarity and will move the process closer to an early resolution.”
Earlier on Wednesday, President David Granger, dodged committing to meeting with the Opposition Leader on the issue. He said from his understanding, Mr. Jagdeo wanted clarification on his position based on the Constitution and that will be provided. He said he has no problem meeting Jagdeo, but noted that he does not want to put the selection process in any rush and therefore will only make a decision on who takes over as Chairman of the Elections Commission after meaningful consultation with the Opposition Leader.
In his evening statement, the Opposition Leader appeared to have preferred a meeting with the President over the latest proposal.
“We are disappointed that the clarifications that we requested have not been furnished. We are further disappointed that the President is unprepared to meet with the Leader of the Opposition on a matter of such crucial national importance. We had hoped that such a meeting would have exposed the President to a view that is different from that of the Attorney General, whom we presume, is advising the President on this matter”, he said.
The President wants Jagdeo to submit a new list that is in keeping with the Constitutional requirements for the job. The Constitution requires the nominees to be persons who are serving as a Judge, served as a Judge or qualified to be a Judge or persons who are “fit and proper”.
While the Opposition Leader’s list did not include any Judges or persons qualified for that position, he said the list contained persons who are “fit and proper” for the job.