-Jagdeo says request fair, will submit ASAP
President David Granger, today, said that he has requested of Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, that the curricula vitae for the six persons he has nominated to fill the post of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) be provided to him so that he can determine their suitability for the post according to the requirements outlined in the Constitution of Guyana.
The Head of State speaking at the Ministry of the Presidency said that he received the list of nominations from the Opposition leader on Wednesday and has responded to that request.
“I replied to him right away because although those six names might be known to the public, I could not be sure that their nominations were in accordance with the Constitution. I have asked him to let me have copies of the Curriculum Vitae of each one so that it can guide me in making my decision. So that is where we are now and I would say that the ball is in his court. I would say let me have the resume for the persons so we can go ahead with this process. It is very important that we have a Chairman as early as possible,” the President said.
The nominees include Lawrence Latchmansingh, Ramesh Dookhoo, Norman Mc Lean, Christopher Ram, Rhyaan Shawand Professor James Rose.
A fair request
The Opposition Leader has since responded to the request by President Granger, which he deemed a fair one. He was quoted in sections of the media saying that he ‘intends to submits the CV’s as soon as possible.’
Jagdeo at a media briefing on Wednesday said that all of the nominees have demonstrated character traits of persons of integrity.
“I think they all are strong people and courageous people and people who have demonstrated that they are prepared to serve the country’s interest, not partisan interest so that is my sense. I did not go into any great detail about their management styles or anything of that sort but their names came forward from civil society [who], reviewed these names, thought that they had some character traits that are necessary…,” he said.
Article 161 (2) of the Constitution states that “…the Chairman of the Elections Commission shall be a person who holds or who has held office as a Judge of a Court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a Court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court or who is qualified to be appointed as any such Judge, or any other fit and proper person, to be appointed by the President from a list of six persons, not unacceptable to the President, submitted by the Leader of the Opposition after meaningful consultation with the non-governmental political parties represented in the National Assembly.
“Provided that if the Leader of the Opposition fails to submit a list as provided for, the President shall appoint a person who holds or has held office as a Judge of a Court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a Court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such Court or who is qualified to be appointed as any such judge.”
The Constitution also outlines that the post of Chairmanship must be a full-time appointment and the holder must not engage in any form of employment.”
The former Chairman of GECOM, Dr Steve Surujbally’s resignation became effective as of November 30 after 15 years of holding the post.