March 31, 2017 Source
While Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has said that stakeholders had an arduous task in finding nominees for the position of a Chairman for the Guyana Election Commission (Gecom), President David Granger says he remains optimistic that one will soon be found.
If not, he said, he was open to further discussions with Jagdeo.
“I am sure if they search they will find people with impartiality, there are lots of them around,” Granger said yesterday when told what the opposition had said.
He added, “I am sure Mr Jagdeo will be able to find somebody and if he doesn’t we can discuss it. I am interested in having a chairman as quickly as possible so I look forward to meeting him to learn from him who his nominees are and even if there is a problem we can discuss it further.”
Having received some 14 names from consulted stakeholders, Jagdeo had said that he would make a shortlist to submit to Granger.
He had stated that stakeholders complained that they found it difficult to get nominees to fit Granger’s stringent selection criteria.
The PPP/C had made it clear that it held firm to its view that the President’s interpretation of the Constitution was wrong, as it pertained to selecting a Gecom Chairman but knowing the importance of the having the position filled, it was undertaking to submit another list.
“A number of the religious people who came to meet with us last week Tuesday, said even Jesus couldn’t fulfil those criteria,” PPP/C Executive Gail Teixeira said on Wednesday. PPP/C MP Juan Edghill, who was also at the press conference, interjected, “It wasn’t Bishop Edghill who said that… because if I had said it, it would have made the news.”
The selection of a Chairman of Gecom, to replace Dr Steve Surujbally, who had formally indicated to President Granger his intention to resign with effect from November 30, 2016, is at an impasse over the criteria for the post.
Granger had rejected Jagdeo’s first list of six names as it didn’t contain any candidate who was a judge, a former judge or eligible to be appointed a judge. Jagdeo had maintained that the list was valid but undertook to submit a second list.