…reiterates extra-parliamentary actions if President acts unilaterally
Leader of the Political Opposition, former President and Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) General Secretary Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has committed to meeting with Head of State, David Granger on Monday over the protracted impasse in the selection of a nominee for the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) with a second list rejected again this past week.
Jagdeo made the pronouncement today (June 8, 2017) as he met with members of the media at his Church Street, Leader of the Opposition Office and said despite his disagreement with the president’s decision, the offer to meet must be taken at face value as an attempt at a collaborative approach in solving the imbroglio.
The Opposition Leader was quick to also reject recent speculations published in the public domain purportedly sourced to him as positions adopted in light of the President’s refusal of his nominees.
According to Jagdeo, “I do not conduct negotiations or discussion of a critical nature in the media…Nor will I telegraph my position.”
The opposition leader sought to make it clear that the Executive of the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) will be meeting tomorrow at which time the matter will be discussed.
The former President prefaced his remarks to the media by openly rejecting the interpretation offered by President Granger.
Granger in his rejection of the second list of nominees said all of the persons did not meet within the criteria set out in the Constitution, and by him.
Jagdeo however, said he disagreed with the “President’s interpretation.”
Those on the second rejected list by Head of State Granger are Retired Justice of Appeal B.S Roy, Retired Justice William Ramlall; Attorney-at-law and a former Magistrate, Ms. Oneidge Walrond-Allicock; Attorney-at-Law, Kashir Khan; Attorney-at-law, Nadia Sagar and businessman, Gerald Gouveia.
Meanwhile, Jagdeo used the occasion to speculate on what the possible outcome of Monday’s meeting could be.
According to the Opposition Leader, the President could request a third list—’a request with which he will have to comply with as per constitutional provisions’ he said.
He suggested too that the President could also decide to appoint a GECOM Chairman unilaterally and reminded that this course of action will be staunchly resisted.
The PPP General Secretary indicated that this is a big concern for the party, “particularly given signals from the government that they may move to unilaterally, unconstitutionally, and unlawfully appoint a Chairman of GECOM.”
He said should the President go this route he will be faced with “litigation and there are other actions that I will not speak about at this point in time.”
According to the former President the party will be exercising extra-parliamentary and parliamentary actions.
Jagdeo suggested too that the President could very well suggest a completely different course of action in resolving the imbroglio—a suggestion that would have to be taken under advisement.
Meanwhile, on the matter of the pending court case filed by a private citizen with a view to secure an interpretation of the constitutional provision (Article 161 (2)) for the appointment of the GECOM Chair, Jagdeo said he will not be awaiting the determination of that case.
Jagdeo surmised there is no assurance that the matter will be determined in finality at its next hearing and in fact the matter could very well be appealed all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
He suggested that the matter is of such a nature that it would be imprudent for him to await its conclusion.