Opposition Leader a no show at scheduled meeting with President Granger

Georgetown, Guyana – (February 7, 2018) Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, this evening, failed to show up for a meeting with President David Granger after he took a one-month period to do, what he described as “his due diligence” with regard to Constitutional appointments, which require meaningful consultations between him and the Head of State. President Granger along with Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Basil Williams waited for his arrival to discuss the appointment of the Chancellor of the Judiciary and Chief Justice and the Integrity and the Teaching Service Commissions at the meeting, which had been set after the Leader of the Opposition had asked the Government in January for the period of adjournment.

The Attorney General, in an invited comment, said that it is unfortunate that Mr. Jagdeo failed to show up at the meeting, despite the President’s decision to grant his request for a month to consider the issues. He noted that the Leader of the Opposition has put the nation’s business at a standstill.

Minister Williams said that it was minutes before the commencement of the meeting that the Leader of the Opposition sent three letters, which communicated his standing on the three matters. However, at no time did those letters indicate that the Leader of the Opposition would not be attending the meeting.

“We waited and the Leader of the Opposition was granted an entire month for due diligence and it is unfortunate that he hasn’t seen it fit to attend this afternoon or to indicate earlier his disagreement with such appointment so the nation is waiting and we will have to move on from here. Unfortunately, the Leader of the Opposition sent a short while before our meeting, three letters in which he indicated that in respect to the appointments of the Office of Chancellor and Chief Justice, that he was not in agreement. In relation to the appointment of the Teaching Service Commission, he is asking for further time to identify a nominee but he has agreed for the President to go ahead with the appointment with the members of the Integrity Commission. The question of giving him further time for the TSC will be up to the President and in relation to the appointment of the Chancellor and Chief Justice we will have to continue to look at that matter,” the Attorney General said.

Pursuant to Article 127 (1) of the Constitution, President Granger, on January 3, met with Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo to discuss the appointments.

The provision of a name by the Opposition Leader will signal the end of the necessary consultations on the TSC. The President will then consider the Opposition’s nominee, paving the way for the appointment of this Commission.

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