The optimism expressed by President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo that the appointment of a new head for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) would be made in a matter of days appears to be dwindling.
Following the failure of the appointed emissaries to “hammer out” names to come up with six persons, the matter was reverted to the leaders.
Jagdeo, in the beginning of the process, said that he alone shoulders the constitutional responsibility to provide nominees. However, he noted that his party was not against the Head of State providing nominees as well.
The President is now telling the nation that his nominees are being rejected by the Opposition Leader and the process could possibly lead to “gridlock” if there is no compromise. He posited that Jagdeo’s rejection indicates that there is no “real role” for the President in the process.
This, Granger believes, flies in the face of the Caribbean Court Justice’s (CCJ) ruling which stated that the process of appointing a Chairman of GECOM must be consensual. He opined that there must be a misunderstanding of that ruling on the part of Jagdeo.
“As far as I am concerned, the interpretation [of the CCJ] is quite clear, and it means that the President must have a role…and I would resist any attempt to prevent me from exercising that function that has been given to me by the CCJ. The role of the President in the crafting and ‘hammering out’ of a list must be respected,” the Head of State said during a programme called “The Public Interest”.
Granger said that he is prepared to meet with the Jagdeo to arrive at an interpretation of the ruling of the CCJ.
“I am not sure that the opposition understands the implications of the ruling by the CCJ. The CCJ made it clear that it is not altering the Constitution; it is interpreting the Constitution by suggesting that we move away from unilateralism…towards consensualism,” Granger said.