New GECOM Chairman: PSC urges appointment of Chairman from Opposition’s list

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In the wake of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) urging that a Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman be appointed urgently, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) has urged that the President appoint a Chairman in a timely manner.

According to the PSC in a statement, this appointment must be done the right way. The commission, which is the umbrella body for the business community, warned that President David Granger must not go down the road of another unilateral appointment.

“The Private Sector Commission of Guyana has noted with great concern the recent consequential order ruling following the final ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on June 12, 2019, in respect to the no-confidence vote against the Government on December 21, 2018, which was validly and properly passed,” the commission said in the statement.

“In view of the given political and constitutional circumstances, the PSC wishes to register its position – having the highest regard for the respect of the constitution and the rule of law and order, for the President and opposition leader to appoint as a matter of urgency – a Chairman for GECOM from the list submitted by the leader of the opposition.”

The commission went on to urge that the President, GECOM, and all Political actors act with integrity and in a responsible manner. It noted that everyone must follow the spirit of the orders of the CCJ, Guyana’s highest appellate court, as well as the constitution of Guyana.

Unilateral

The PSC may have good reason to be apprehensive. Despite the CCJ ruling that the President must work with the Opposition leader to appoint a GECOM Chairman, this publication is in receipt of information suggesting that President David Granger is leaning towards making another unilateral appointment.

According to well-placed sources, the President is determined to appoint someone of his choosing, outside of the list of candidates already submitted to him by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.

Jagdeo submitted a list that included retired Major General Joe Singh, who served as GECOM Chairman years ago; Environmentalist Annette Arjoon-Martins, retired Justice of Appeal BS Roy, businessman Captain Gerry Gouveia, attorney- at-law Kashir Khan, former Magistrate Krishnadatt Persaud, Conflict resolution specialist Lawrence Latchmansingh; Retired Major General Norman McLean, businessman Ramesh Dookhoo, Retired Puisne Judge William Ramlall and Onesi La Fleur.

But in a turnaround, the President then submitted a list of nominees of his own that featured the return of former GECOM Chairman retired Justices James Patterson, in addition to Claudette La Bennet, Stanley Moore, economist Aubrey Armstrong, attorney Kesaundra Alves and former Solicitor General Kim Kyte. The President also proposed known PNC-affiliates and businessmen Stanley Ming (a former PNC Parliamentarian) and Kads Khan.