President maintains unilateral appointment of GECOM Chair not “flawed”, despite CCJ ruling

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President David Granger

President  David Granger is maintaining that his unilateral appointment of Justice (rtd) James Patterson as GECOM Chairman is not flawed.

This is despite the final and binding ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) that the appointment was unconstitutional and the process used by the Head-of-State was flawed.

“I have never gone outside of the Constitution. If they tell me the process is flawed, they must let me know what the flaw is,” President Granger told reporters this morning.

“There’s no way I can see the decisions I’ve taken were flawed,” he added.

In accordance with the Guyana Constitution, President Granger was required to appoint a Chairperson for GECOM from a list of names submitted by the Opposition Leader.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had submitted three lists over a period of time, all of which were rejected without reason.

The CCJ ruled that the President needed to provide objective reasons for rejecting the nominees.

CCJ President Justice Adrian Saunders said President Granger gave no specific reason for refusing to appoint a Chairman from the lists submitted by Jagdeo.

“In determining the main issue in the case, the Court looked first at the proper meaning of Article 161(2) of Guyana’s Constitution. That Article sets out the requirements to be satisfied for a person to be eligible for appointment as GECOM Chairman. It also sets out the general process for selecting the Chairman,” Saunders said.

“To determine the meaning, the Court looked at the drafting history of Article 161(2), observing that changes had been made to it to promote consensus and inclusiveness by involving the Leader of the Opposition in the selection process.”

President Granger says he will wait on the rulings next week Monday before making any further decision in the matter. He says he will also invite the Opposition Leader for talks on the way forward.