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Reply to "ANUG flays President over submission of names for GECOM Chair -says no new laws can be passed or contracts signed"

Although I am intent to act like you don't exist, I will make an exception here to demonstrate your wickedness. You picked an article but cut it off where you thought you can harvest your deception.  Everything in Jagdeo's response to Granger's stupid demand to also nominate the sale people that he will pick from was to accommodate Granger quest for relevancy and not Jagdeo inviting Granger to also suggest names. But wicked people will remain wicked people. Just like yuh PNC. Now gwan suh.

Although maintaining that the submission of the nominees for the chairmanship of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) remains solely his remit, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday signalled that he was open to President David Granger “suggesting” names for his consideration during their impending talks on the subject.

Jagdeo’s position, described as a measure intended “to find consensus,” was communicated in a response by People’s Progressive Party member Gail Teixeira to a letter from Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon, who sought to determine whether it was agreed that both parties would be identifying nominees.

 

Harmon, by way of a letter on behalf of Granger, dated June 28th, 2019, said it was the government’s interpretation that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) intended that “both the President and Leader of the Opposition will provide nominees on the list of six persons” from which a Chairman is to be selected.

According to his letter, this conclusion can be drawn from Paragraph 26 of the court’s ruling, which states, among other things, “The Court decided that the most sensible approach to operationalise the Article was for the Leader of the Opposition and the President to communicate with each other in good faith and to perhaps even meet to discuss eligible candidates for the position of Chairman before a list is formally submitted. The aim of these discussions must be to agree [on] the names of six persons who fit the stated eligibility requirements and who are not unacceptable to the President.”

Jagdeo disagreed with government’s interpretation and the letter penned by Teixeira noted that while he is not “averse to the President informally suggesting names…for consideration,” the list of six names must emanate from the Leader of the Opposition.

Teixeira’s letter, also dated June 28, stresses that the court’s judgment has interpreted Article 161 (2) of the constitution and, therefore, the judgment of the court must be construed as giving obeisance to the Article, rather than derogating from it. “The court simply proffered guidance on how this list of names is to be ‘hammered out,’” Teixeira wrote.

Article 161(2) of the Constitution clearly states that the Chair is to be “appointed from a list of six persons, who are not unacceptable to the President, submitted by the Leader of the Opposition after he has meaningfully consulted with the non-governmental political parties represented in the National Assembly.”

Teixeira stressed that Jagdeo has “examined with consummate care” the paragraph referenced and cannot agree with government’s position as “such an interpretation not only tramples upon the functional responsibility of the Leader of the Opposition, but also, may usurp it altogether.”

The court, she argued, was simply offering guidance on how the engagement between the Leader of the Opposition and the President must manifest itself at which engagement names can be discussed informally, with a view to determining their acceptability to the President within the framework of Article 161 (2).

The letter reminded the President that the CCJ judgment states that “in our view, employment of the double negative ‘not unacceptable’ signals that an onus is placed on the President not to find a nominee unacceptable merely because the nominee is not a choice the President would have himself made.”

“Notwithstanding and in an effort to find consensus, the Leader of the Opposition is not averse to the President informally suggesting names in their proposed engagement for his consideration,” she added.

Teixeira also expressed hope that the correspondence had provided the clarification Harmon requested in his letter.

The CCJ on June 18th ruled that the unilateral appointment of retired judge James Patterson as GECOM Chairman was unconstitutional and has since indicated that the two parties should meet to discuss a way forward.

Despite several correspondence between the two sides, no meeting has been arranged.

Harmon’s letter indicated that he was seeking Jagdeo’s view on government’s interpretation of the ruling before a date for his meeting with the president is finalised.

Government sent an invitation on June 21st to Jagdeo, seeking a meeting with him after the expected handing down of the consequential orders by the CCJ on June 24th.

While Jagdeo acknowledged receipt of the letter, he did not respond before the hearing.

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