The Court of Appeal will hear tomorrow, the challenge to the decision by acting Chief Justice Roxane George to uphold the appointment of retired Justice James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
The appeal was filed by former Attorney General, Mohabir Anil Nandlall on behalf of People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Executive Secretary, Zulfikar Mustapha.
Justice George had issued her decision on June 8.
According to court documents, Mustapha said that “this Appeal concerns the fundamental issue of whether the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, the constitutional body responsible for the administration and management of Guyana’s electoral process, beginning with the registration of electors and ending with declaration of results and allocation of seats in relation thereto, was lawfully appointed in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.”
Following the appointment and swearing-in of the then 84-year-old Patterson on October 19, last, Mustapha filed an application in the High Court, contending among other things, that the president had no power to make a unilateral appointment once a list of six names had been submitted to him by the Leader of the Opposition.
The court ruled that the President has the power, under Article 161(2) of the Constitution, to reject the list submitted by the Opposition Leader if it is unacceptable to him and to resort to the proviso of that article and choose a person as Chairman of GECOM who is, was, or is qualified to be appointed as a judge in Guyana or the Commonwealth.