Minister Harmon confirms second list of nominees for GECOM chairman still being considered

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, May 18, 2017

The second list of nominees for the Guyana Election Commission’s (GECOM) chairman is still being carefully considered by President David Granger, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency, today, Minister Harmon said, “The second list has been provided to His Excellency the President and I can say to you that the president is considering the list,” Minister Harmon said. He further stated that there was a consultation on Wednesday morning between the President and the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and that the question of the list was raised.

The minister said that “the President gave the Leader of the Opposition the assurance that he is considering the list and that as soon as he has finished his consideration, he would get back to him, and so there is no issue of a third or fourth list,” the Minister said.

“We (the government) understand the patience of Guyanese, that this is an issue that is of importance to them, and I can assure you that His Excellency is going to give it the urgency that it requires,” he further added.

Dr. Steve Surujbally’s chairmanship of GECOM came to an end on February 28, 2017. He completed a 15-year stint at the helm of the seven-member commission. Since earlier this year, President Granger and the Opposition Leader have been at a stalemate over Surujbally’s replacement. The first list of six nominees’ submitted by the Opposition Leader to the fill the position was deemed by the President as unacceptable because none of them had included retired, current or judge-eligible persons. The  first batch of rejected nominees had included Governance and Conflict Resolution Specialist,  Lawrence Lachmansingh;  Attorney-at-Law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram;  Retired Major General, Norman Mc Lean; Business Executive, Ramesh Dookhoo; Indian Rights Activist, Rhyaan Shah and History Professor, James Rose.

The President had requested that the Opposition Leader submit a new list with nominees that exemplify qualities such as impartiality, independent and integrity.

The second list of nominees currently being considered by the President include Justice of Appeal B.S Roy (ret’d), Justice William Ramlall (ret’d), Oneidge Walrond-Allicock, Attorney-at-law and a former Magistrate, Kashir Khan, Attorney-at-law, Nadia Sagar, and  Attorney-at-law and Gerald Gouveia.

 

By: Macalia Santos

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