-Opposition Leader says Party will challenge ‘undemocratic’ decision in court
Outside of the three lists and 18 nominees provided by the Opposition Leader, the President of Guyana, David Granger, on Thursday evening unilaterally selected the new Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
James Patterson, 84, a retired High Court Judge who holds the position of the legal advisor to the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams will be sworn in as the new GECOM Chairman later tonight (Thursday) at the State House.
Information has revealed that this decision was made following a meeting between the President and the Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo earlier this evening to discuss the third list of nominees who were submitted by Jagdeo for the post.
The Opposition Leader is a press briefing after the meeting was held said that this was their plan from the inception, highlighting that it was a plan to frustrate him into folding by rejecting his nominees, but after he consistently provided names, lists after list, the “charade” was ended and the President will now appoint someone of his own choosing.
According to Jagdeo, President Granger has acted undemocratically and in defiance of the Court ruling by the Chief Justice. He posited that he will be engaging the international community on this matter, while calling on the his party’s entire support base not to cooperate with the move by the incumbent Administration.
Moreover, Jagdeo said he hopes civil society will see “this for what it is… an attempt to rig the next elections ” and will also raise their voice in relation to this matter.
Additionally, he said his party “we will be challenging the decision in court.”
According to the Opposition Leader, “Government will not have our cooperation on any issue in this country until they start complying with the Constitution.”
The first list of nominees submitted to the President for the position of the new GECOM Chairman and rejected consisted of Former Army Chief, Norman Mc Lean, Attorney and Political Analyst, Christopher Ram, Former Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Ramesh Dookhoo, Peace and Governance Consultant, Lawrence Lachmansingh, Businesswoman, Rhyaan Shah and Professor Dr James Rose.
The second list – which was also rejected- consisted of Justice of Appeal B.S Roy (ret’d), Justice William Ramlall (ret’d), Ms. Oneidge Walrond-Allicock, Attorney-at-law and a former Magistrate, Kashir Khan, Attorney-at-law, Ms Nadia Sagar, and Captain Gerald Gouveia.
The most recent list of names- which was also rejected-included Major General Joseph Singh, Teni Housty, Sanjeev Datadin, Mrs Annette Arjoon-Martins, Onesi La Fleur and Krishnadatt Persaud.
According to an advisory from the Ministry of the Presidency, the swearing in will occur at 20:30hrs at the State House.