GECOM Chair: Jagdeo says 2nd list ‘Constitutionally’ suitable for the post

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Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo is of the view that it would be “unreasonable” if the President rejected the second list of nominees that he submitted for the post of Guyana Election’s Commission (GECOM) chairperson.

This position comes on the heels of speculation in certain sections of the media that although President David Granger is reviewing the Curricula Vitae (CV’s) of the six new nominees, he does not find them favourable.

According to Jagdeo at a press briefing on Monday, if the second list- which was submitted approximately 2 weeks ago- is found to be unacceptable by Granger, he is willing to submit a third list.

However, he noted that if the President moves to institute a Chairman of his own, there will be significant repercussions.

“If…the President wants to appoint a person on his own, well then he would have a major fight on his hands,” he said.

Nevertheless, the Opposition Leader maintained his belief that the second list of persons submitted are suitable for the position of the GECOM Chairman, emphasizing that they all suit the requirements of the Constitution.

President Granger had dubbed Jagdeo’s first list of nominees as ‘unacceptable’ while  indicating that they did not meet the requirements of Article 161 (2) of the Constitution.

The President’s interpretation adumbrated that a current or sitting judge or someone eligible to be a judge in Guyana or the Commonwealth Caribbean is preferred to be appointed as Chairman of the electoral body.

The Opposition’s contention however, is that the Constitution clearly contemplates two categories of persons for the post: “Firstly, a High Court judge or an Appellate Court judge, a former High Court or an Appellate Court judge or a person qualified to be a High Court or an Appellate Court judge. Secondly, or (disjunctive), any “fit and proper” person.

The six nominees for the second (new) list includes; retired Justice of Appeal BS Roy, retired Justice William Ramlall, Attorney and former Magistrate Oneidge Walrond Allicock, Attorney Kashir Khan, Attorney Nadia Sagar and Captain Gerald Gouveia.

Jagdeo had posited with respect to the new list of nominees that “one(1) is a former Judge of the Court of Appeal of Guyana; one(1) is a former Judge of the High Court of Guyana; three(3) are Attorneys-at-law with over ten(10) years of good standing at the Guyana Bar and one(1) is a former Magistrate and therefore, qualify to be Judges of a Court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in Guyana, in accordance with the Constitution of Guyana; and one(1) is a former Captain of the Guyana Defence Force, a Pilot, and a Businessman and Entrepreneur.”

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