Chief Justice Roxane George this afternoon upheld the appointment of Alliance for Change (AFC) General Secretary, Marlon Williams on the Local Government Commission.
Justice George in her ruling said that his appointment was in keeping with Section 4 (1) (d) of the Local Government Commission Act which speaks to composition of the commission. According to Section 4 (1), The Local Government Commission shall consist of eight members to be appointed as follows-
(a) Three members appointed by the President acting in accordance with his own deliberate judgment;
(b) Three members, appointed by the President, acting on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition after consultation with other Parliamentary parties;
(c) One member, appointed by the President, after approval by the National Assembly upon a nomination by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on appointment from persons submitted by Trade Unions within the Local Government System;
(d) One member, appointed by the Minister after consultation with the Local Democratic Organs.
Last year, attorney-at-law Charles Ramson Jr., representing a councillor, moved to the High Court to challenge the appointment of Williams by Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, on the basis that proper consultations were not held with local democratic organs. Minister Bulkan was reported as saying that consultations were held with the Guyana Association of Municipalities.
Ramson, however, argued that the organisation is not widely known. As such, the lawyer contended that Williams’ appointment was illegal as Minister Bulkan failed, neglected and/or refused to consult with local democratic organs.
During the civil proceedings, both Minister Bulkan and Williams were ordered by the court to show reasons why the appointment should not be canceled.
Minister Bulkan was represented by Solicitor General Nigel Hawke and other lawyers from the Attorney General’s Chambers. The Chief Justice awarded $100,000 in court costs to the respondent, Minister Bulkan.