Pres. Granger acknowledges opposition leader’s acceptance to meet

─ to discuss nominees for new GECOM Chair

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, June 29, 2019

President David Granger has acknowledged Opposition Leader, Bharat Jagdeo’s acceptance of an invitation to discuss the appointment of a new Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman.

On Friday, Director-General (DG) of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon wrote Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira acknowledging receipt of her letter dated June 25, 2019.

In his letter, the DG stated that President Granger “iterates his commitment to meet with the Opposition Leader to discuss his important Constitutional requirement.”

He also noted that in the ruling handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) (Paragraph 26), it specifies that both the Head of State and Leader of the Opposition must meet and hold discussions on “…eligible candidates for the position of Chairman before a list is formally submitted. The aim of these discussions must be to agree to the names of six persons to fit the stated edibility requirements and who are not unacceptable to the president.”

The Director-General further stated that the government has understood this to mean nominees for the list of six persons will be provided by both the president and the opposition leader

This dispatch comes seven days after the Head of State would have invited the opposition leader to meet with him to “discuss the current political situation in Guyana resulting from the decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice made on Tuesday, June 18.”

In a letter dated Thursday, June 20, DG Harmon made the correspondent on behalf of the president. He had said that the letter served to demonstrate President Granger’s commitment to “engagement and dialogue” with the opposition leader in the interest of the development of Guyana.

On Tuesday, June 18, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that the December 21, 2018 vote was validly passed and the appointment of the GECOM Chair, Justice (Ret’d) James Patterson was “flawed” and thereby unconstitutional. Prior to this ruling, the government had indicated that it will respect the decision of the CCJ. Following its ruling, the GECOM Chair demitted office on June 24.

Government has boasted an excellent track record as a first-term government and continues to make strides in this regard.