Joint talks for GECOM Chair held in good faith – PM Nagamootoo

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Honourable Moses Nagamootoo, Prime Minister of Guyana, has shared in a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the joint talks between the government and opposition have been held in “good faith”, as they continue the “hammering out process” in search of a Chairman for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Representatives of His Excellency, President David Granger and Opposition Leader, Honourable Bharrat Jagdeo have been meeting regularly, to exam the list of nominees that will eventually see six names being submitted to the Head of State.

Prime Minister, Hon. Moses Nagamootoo

So far, five of the names submitted by the Honourable Opposition Leader have been ruled out by the government side. In the join talks, the president is being represented by the Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan.

The two sides met again today, ahead of the Caribbean Court of Justice’s (CCJ) consequential ruling on set for Friday, July 12.

According to the Honourable Prime Minister, there have been some misconceptions about the recommendations of the CCJ.

“The CCJ has recommended that principle be blended with practicality, or to be able to move to the process in a more consensual basis so that both sides can talk about the names and try to find consensus,” he told the DPI.

According to the Honourable Prime Minister, the CCJ’s interpretation of Guyana’s Constitution states that the president should have a role in identifying the names and participate in the process of hammering out those names.

“They [the president and opposition leader] will have some discussions, some trading here and there so that the end result would be a list deemed to be acceptable by the president.”

He reiterated that the Head of State is ready for early elections. Those elections, however, must also be credible.

“They have to be based on the assessment by the Elections Commission to represent its preparedness for the voters’ list. There will be a requirement for a House-to-House campaign,” he said.

The Honourable Prime Minister said that the government is committed to a process where the Head of State will make a proclamation to direct the elections to a date when it could be held, based on the advice by GECOM.  He reiterated that cannot happen unless there is a chairman.

“While we are saying that we would like early elections, we are also saying that those elections must be credible, free and fair so that no allegations can be made about the transparency process,” the PM told DPI.

View the video provided for the entire ‘One on One’ interview with the Honourable Prime Minister. 

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