President has discretion to appoint GECOM Chair – CJ rules

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… PPP to file appeal 

Chief Justice, Roxanne George-Wiltshire today (Friday) ruled against the legal challenge brought by the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) over the unilateral appointment of Justice James Patterson as the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Acting Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire

The Chief Justice in her decision stated that the President has a discretion to make the appointment. However, she did add that the prescribed steps according to Guyana’s Constitution were not followed in making the appointment.

A cost of $250,000 was awarded to the State. However, the PPP has since indicated that it will be filing an appeal in the matter.

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 GECOM on the grounds of unconstitutionality.

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

 

 

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