Georgetown, Guyana – (July 16, 2019) President David Granger, this afternoon, met Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo at the Ministry of the Presidency, to discuss the nominations for the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

The President was accompanied by Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Mr. Joseph Harmon, while the Leader of the Opposition was accompanied by Mr. Irfaan Ali.

During the meeting, Director General Harmon said that it was agreed that from the list of five names shortlisted by the working group, four were found “not unacceptable” to the President and as part of the “hammering-out process”, the two names suggested by the President and others as may be necessary, will be discussed further. The Parties agreed to continue meeting on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.

President Granger explained that when the two sides meet tomorrow, the discussions will take place within a smaller working group than last week.

“We had a very fruitful meeting. As you know, after the last meeting with the Leader of the Opposition, we agreed to set up a working group, which had three meetings and that came to an end on Thursday, July 11, 2019. The two sides will meet again tomorrow and there will be a smaller team, the same working group will not be used. We are working to have a list that would be sent by the Leader of the Opposition to the President as early as possible. So, we are not going back to the working group, we are moving forward to continue the hammering out process. They did their work and we are satisfied. As far as we are concerned, it was a satisfactory process,” the Head of State said.

President Granger also noted that the power and the authority of the Leader of the Opposition under the Constitution, to submit a list of six names ‘not unacceptable’ to the President has not been reduced or altered.

“We feel that this process could be brought to an end very quickly. We expect that we will make progress on crafting a list. I must note that the power and the authority of the Leader of the Opposition under the Constitution to submit a list of six names not unacceptable to the President has not been impaired, it has not been varied. Equally, when the President receives that list, he will make a choice. What the CCJ did point out was that there should be a ‘hammering out’ process for the arrival of those names on the list,” the President said.

Director General Harmon said the main thrust of the meetings are to ensure that a suitable candidate for the position of GECOM Chair is selected and appointed soonest. Once appointed, the Elections Commission would be able to function as it should and would then advise the President on its readiness for elections.

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