July 17 2019
Four found ‘not unacceptable’ for GECOM appointment
-talks to continue to complete list of nominees
President David Granger and Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday met on finalising a list of six nominees for the post of Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Com-mission (GECOM) and they jointly announced that four candidates have been found “not unacceptable” for the appointment.
The almost two-hour-long meeting, which followed a one-week informal process between representatives of the two leaders, saw President Granger and Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon engage in discussions with Jagdeo and People’s Progressive Party/Civic parliamentarian Irfaan Ali.
Granger told a press briefing immediately after that the two sides were able to come to a “broad agreement.”
A joint statement, read by Harmon, said that it was agreed that from a list of five names shortlisted by the working group that held talks last week, four names were found not unacceptable to the president and as part of the process to settle on the remaining two, the two names suggested by the president “and others as may be necessary, will be discussed further.”
Granger has suggested that retired judge Claudette La Bennett and George-town Public Hospital Cor-poration Chairperson Kesaundra Alves be considered for inclusion on the final list.
The next meeting, which will be between “a smaller team,” is scheduled for some time today.
Granger noted that the authority of the opposition leader to submit a list of six names not unacceptable to the president has not been impaired nor varied and that when the president receives the list, he will make a choice.
While Jagdeo also spoke with media, he too read from the joint statement and declined to identify the four persons the President has deemed acceptable.
The 11 candidates resubmitted by Jagdeo for consideration are Annette Arjoon-Martins, retired judge B S Roy, Gerry Gouveia, retired Major General and former GECOM Chairman Joe Singh, attorneys Kashir Khan and Krisndatt Persaud, Lawrence Lachmansingh, Retired Major General Norman McLean, Onesi La Fleur and Ramesh Dookhoo.
Both sides have committed to the selection of a chairperson as early as possible since the Com-mission’s preparation for elections is dependent on a chair.
The CCJ, which is Guyana’s final appeal court, has ruled that a no-confidence motion against government was legally passed on December 21st, 2018 and it has declared that the clear provisions of Article 106 immediately became engaged with the passage.
Article 106 (6) stipulates that “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”
Article 106 (7) adds, “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the elections.”
Government has since accepted its “interim” status based on the judgment of the Court but has declared that Cabinet is continuing to function.