PPP to appeal CJ’s ruling on GECOM’s top post

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Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall

Following the acting Chief Justice, Roxanne George-Wiltshire dismissal of a legal challenge by the People’s Progressive Party against President David Granger’s unilateral appointment of Justice James Patterson as head of the Guyana Elections Commission, the party intends to move to the appeal court.

This was according to Former Attorney General, Anil Nandall who stated “While we respect that ruling, and while we must abide by that ruling, we do not agree with it and we will exercise our undoubted right to appeal that ruling to the Court of Appeal and if necessary to the Caribbean Court of Justice”.

Acting Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire

Nandlall related that his party believes that the acting Chief Justice’s ruling has rendered the Constitutional formula which requires a Chairman of GECOM to be appointed by a joint exercise and a process that involves the input of the President and the Opposition, redundant.

“We believe that that ruling therefore is contrary to the intent of the framers of the constitution [which] intended that the Chairman must be appointed by a process which requires the input of the Leader of the Opposition and the President. That only in the rare and exceptional circumstance where there is no list provided that the President has a unilateral power of appointment,,” Nandlall stated.

On October 23 2017 the Opposition filed an injunction at the High Court to rescind President David Granger’s unilateral appointment of retired Justice James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on the grounds of unconstitutionality.

Justice: James Patterson

However on Friday, that case was dismissed on the grounds that it was wholly misconceived, according to Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire.

Patterson was appointed after President Granger rejected three lists of 18 names submitted by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo for consideration of the top GECOM post.

 

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