Appointment of new Chancellor : President, Opposition Leader to meet today

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By Michael Younge

President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo are expected to meet today on the appointment of a new Chancellor of the Judiciary following the retirement of Carl Singh, who acted in the post for more than a decade.

The meeting was organised after President David Granger announced at his first press conference in two years, that he has accepted a proposal from a Committee that had been set up to review and interview applicants interested in the top judicial post after it advertised locally, regionally and internationally.

Proposed Chancellor, Kenneth Benjamin

Granger said on that occasion that he had already contacted the recommended individual who later accepted the nominated. Diligent work by media revealed that the person, the President favoured, was Justice Kenneth Benjamin, who currently serves as the Chief Justice of Belize.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo would not offer any other comments on his initial position on the suitability of the proposed candidate or whether he felt the process to arrive at a nominee was transparent and fair.

It is not clear too whether Jagdeo had access to the final report and all the requisite information relating to the selection of Justice Benjamin by the panel which comprised former Justice of Appeal, Claudette Singh, Justice James Patterson, and Professor Harold Lutchman.

Jagdeo had warned that even though the President has to make the first move to resolve the decade-long failure to appoint a substantive Chancellor and Chief Justice, he will not allow himself to be coerced into accepting nominees just to fix the situation.

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