Gov’t, Opposition reps. to ‘hammer out’ nominees for GECOM Chair

Georgetown, Guyana (July 8, 2019): Representatives of both President David Granger and Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, will this afternoon meet at 17:00h (5pm) at Castellani House to discuss nominations for the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

This meeting follows last Thursday’s meeting between President Granger and Mr. Jagdeo at the Ministry of the Presidency where the means of selecting a new Chairman of the Elections Commission was discussed.

Today’s meeting is in keeping with the Caribbean Court of Justice’s ruling which said the two sides (Government and Opposition) should work together to produce a list of persons to be considered for the post.

President Granger will be represented by Vice President and Minister of Public Security, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan; Minister of Public Health, Ms. Volda Lawrence and Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Mr. Joseph Harmon.

Mr. Jagdeo will be represented by Ms. Gail Teixeira and Mr. Anil Nandlall. The two teams will meet regularly to ‘hammer out’ the names of persons to arrive at a list of six which the Leader of the Opposition will present to President Granger and from which the President would choose one person to be names as GECOM Chair.

At a post meeting press briefing, President Granger told the media that the discussions had with Mr. Jagdeo were focused on the means to be adopted for the nomination and appointment of a Chairman of the Elections Commission.

The President has repeatedly said that unless and until the Chairman is appointed, the work of the Commission will not be able to move ahead as quickly as possible.

“We are also bound now by the interpretation of the Caribbean Court of Justice, which has spoken twice on the issue of elections and it was really an obedience to that last injunction by that Court that I decided to meet the Leader of the Opposition to decide on a way forward and this has been done,” he said.

President Granger iterated that the Leader of the Opposition is free to submit the names that have already been submitted on the past three lists and he has also agreed to confirm that those persons are still willing to have their names forwarded. The Opposition Leader
has since submitted a list of eleven persons to be considered from the previous lists submitted to the President.

“So, the names that have been submitted before are not eliminated…the process which has been identified by the CCJ allows the President to make submissions in the form of this “hammering out” that the CCJ has enjoined us to adopt. So that is as much as we have achieved. I think it is a move forward towards the appointment of a Chairman of the Commission and I am confident that once there is a Chairman of the Commission, who enjoys the confidence of both the Opposition and the Government, the Commission itself will start to function much more smoothly. So, I hope …that we can move forward now and Guyanese can look forward to credible elections in as shortest time as possible,” the Head of State said.