The Opposition People’s Progressive Party, through its Executive Secretary Zulficar Mustapha, has filed an appeal of the Chief Justice’s ruling in that case against the appointment of a GECOM Chairman.
Last Friday, the acting Chief Justice dismissed the PPP’s application to challenge the appointment of the GECOM Chairman.
In that ruling, the Chief Justice stated that there was nothing to show that the President acted unlawfully or capriciously in appointing Justice James Patterson to the top GECOM post.
She also ruled that the Court could not direct the Head of State to choose a name from any of the three lists of nominees submitted to the President by the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo.
The PPP immediately announced that it would be appealing that ruling and on Monday that appeal was filed.
In the appeal, the PPP states that the acting chief justice erred and misdirected Herself in law by failing to impugn the appointment of Justice James Patterson as Chairman of GECOM.
The Attorneys are arguing that in her ruling the chief justice stated that the president should have given reasons for his decision to turn down the nominees by the Opposition Leader and she noted that no such reasons were provided.
According to the Attorneys for the PPP, “the decision of the Learned Hearing Judge is wrong, misconceived and erroneous in law as it has destroyed a delicate but fundamental balance in the composition of the Guyana Elections Commission which the framers of the Constitution intended to repose in a Chairman appointed by a formula captured in Article 161 (2) of the Constitution which ensures that such a Chairman enjoys the confidence and acceptance of both the Leader of the Opposition and the President”.
They are also challenging the Chief Justice’s position that there was nothing unlawful with the president making a choice of his own after dismissing the nominees of the opposition.
Its unclear how soon the local Appeal Court will begin dealing with the matter, but the PPP has already stated that it intends to go all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice if the local Court of Appeal does not find favour with its arguments.