Georgetown, Guyana – (May 17, 2017) President David Granger, today, confirmed that contrary to reports, the examination of the curriculum vitae (CV) of the second list of nominees for the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is ongoing in order to ensure that they fulfil the criteria as laid out in the Constitution of Guyana.
Speaking to members of the media on the side lines of the swearing in ceremony for two Appellate Judges at State House, the President said, “We received the CVs and we are still examining the CVs. You know I sent a list of criteria and we have to ensure that the new nominees are in accordance with [that criteria]… I am obliged to examine the list that the Leader of the Opposition submitted and we have not completed the examination as yet.”
The Guyana Times newspaper, in an article dated May 17, 2017, reported that retired Justice Claudette La Bennett has been identified for the position of the next GECOM Chairman. But President Granger has, in the strongest terms, denied that assertion. “I am not aware of any forum at which her candidacy was considered so I don’t know where that could have come from,” the President said.
Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, on May 2, submitted a second list of nominees to President Granger. The President had rejected Mr. Jagdeo’s first list of nominees on the grounds that they did not meet the requirements of the Constitution. The Second list of nominees included Justice of Appeal B.S Roy (ret’d), Justice William Ramlall (ret’d), Ms. Oneidge Walrond-Allicock, Attorney-at-law and a former Magistrate, Mr. Kashir Khan, Attorney-at-law, Ms. Nadia Sagar, Attorney-at-law and Mr. Gerald Gouveia.
President Granger had indicated that any list of nominees must be in keeping with the requirements as defined in Article 161 (2) of the Constitution (subject to paragraph 6 of the Article), which provides that “the Chairman of the Elections Commission shall be appointed by the President from among persons who hold or have held office as a judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court or who are qualified to be appointed as any such judge”.