PPP slams bad faith, foot-dragging by President

first_imgAppointment of GECOM Chair…says still no word from President on next meeting with Opposition LeaderDespite the urgency of the matter, a week has passed and there has been no word from President David Granger on the next meeting to come up with nominees for the post of Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman.This was revealed by former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Chief Whip Gail Texieira, who has played an integral part as an intermediary between Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and the President and his team while the two sides have been trying to choose a chairman in keeping with the consensual approach recommended by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).Texieira in a statement on Wednesday said that it is unbelievable that one week has passed and no meeting has been scheduled for the continuation of discussions at the informal level, either between the Leader of the Opposition and the President or with their emissaries.“We, in the Parliamentary Opposition, thought that we were making progress in the informal engagement, albeit slow, with 4 names that are “not unacceptable” to the President,” she added. According to her, despite the CCJ’s ruling that the appointment of the chairman in accordance with the Constitution is of “utmost urgency”, and the President’s statement on July 12th that the appointment could be done in days, the Leader of the Opposition’s informal submission of an additional four names on July 18th for the President’s consideration regarding their acceptability to him remains unanswered.According to Texieira, this is the very definition of the “bad faith” that the CCJ cited when they handed down their June 18 ruling and July 12 consequential orders. Texieira noted that the President’s public statements of wanting to appoint a Chairman in days can no longer be taken at face value.She pointed out that “on several occasions, he has changed his mind and in other openly contradicted earlier public statements, such as those he made on July 12 and July 19, 2019— which are a complete reversal of the statements he made at his July 4 press conference following the meeting with the Leader of the Opposition with regards to the appointment of the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission”.Texieira also noted that President Granger has arrogated onto himself a role in submitting names to the Opposition Leader, which then have to be included on the final list. She made it clear that this was untrue.“In his July 12 and 18 statements, the President has inserted himself in the role of submitting and determining names on the list of six from which he will select, a role in contravention of art 161 (2) and the CCJ ruling of June 18th 2019”.The Leader of the Opposition, she stated, has on more than one occasion written to the President and declared publicly “his availability to meet at any time and daily” in order to conclude the informal process of finding six names “not unacceptable” to the President in keeping with article 161 (2).ListsJagdeo had submitted a list for GECOM Chairperson that included retired Major General Joe Singh, who served as GECOM Chairman years ago; Environmentalist Annette Arjoon-Martins, retired Justice of Appeal BS Roy, businessman Captain Gerry Gouveia, Attorney- at-Law Kashir Khan, former Magistrate Krishnadatt Persaud, Conflict Resolution Specialist Lawrence Latchmansingh, Retired Major General Norman McLean, Businessman Ramesh Dookhoo, Retired Puisne Judge William Ramlall and Onesi La Fleur.But in a turnaround, the President then submitted a list of nominees of his own that featured the return of former GECOM Chairman retired Justices James Patterson, in addition to retired Justice Claudett La Bennet, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) Chairperson Kesaundra Alves, Stanley Moore, Economist Aubrey Armstrong, and former Solicitor General Kim Kyte. The President also proposed known PNC-affiliates and businessmen Stanley Ming (a former PNC Parliamentarian) and Kads Khan.While the Constitution does not allow the President to submit names, Jagdeo, in a compromise, had permitted the President to informally suggest names of persons he had no objection to. The fact that a formal list was presented by the President’s representatives has been criticised by political observers as a demonstration of bad faith.Government subsequently confirmed Alves and retired Justice La Bennet as nominees the President has no objection to. However, Jagdeo rejected these two names and had been poised to make more submissions. Subsequently, President Granger left the jurisdiction for Cuba to do a medical check-up.People’s Progressive Party (PPP) member Gail TexieiraPresident David Grangerlast_img read more