Following the rejection of Justices Kenneth Benjamin and Yonnette Cummings-Edwards for the respective Chancellor and Chief Justice (CJ) positions by Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, no contact has been made by President David Granger for a subsequent meeting with Jagdeo to have consensus on the consultative process.
This was conveyed by Jagdeo during a recent press conference, where he was asked about the status of this process.
While Jagdeo had previously said that the two sides were unlikely to meet before Local Government Elections (LGE), he revealed that overtures to set a date for the meeting after the elections have not even been made.
In fact, Jagdeo said he has not heard anything from the President about the top judicial appointments since his public statement that the ball was in the Opposition Leader’s court.
The last time the two did meet, which was last month, that meeting was intended to sort out the appointments of the Police and Public Service Commissions.
“I have no contact with the gentleman. So I don’t know what his state of mind is or what he wants to do or what he doesn’t want to do. I do know, however, that the President outside of a public statement saying that the ball is now in Jagdeo’s court and that he doesn’t intend to withdraw his nominee, I’ve had no other contact outside of that,” Jagdeo said.
When asked if he would be inclined to reconsider his rejection of Justices Benjamin and Cummings-Edwards for the respective Chancellor and Chief Justice positions, Jagdeo made it clear that he would not.
Back in February, Jagdeo had rejected the two nominees for the posts.
While the former President never stated his reasons publicly, there had been criticisms in the public domain of Justice Benjamin’s performance in Belize, where he served as the Chief Justice.
The Guyana Bar Association had even passed a motion calling on Granger to confirm Cummings-Edwards and Justice Roxane George in the acting Chancellor and Chief Justice positions they currently hold.