GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Friday July 12, 2019 – The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), could have a new chairman as early as Monday.
That’s the word from President David Granger who addressed the nation today, following the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) consequential orders on its June 18 ruling that the no-confidence vote passed against the government last December was valid and that the appointment of retired justice James Patterson to the position of GECOM chairman was flawed.
“It is clear that elections have to be held in the shortest possible time and, therefore, it is crucial to appoint a chairman of the GECOM… this could be done as early as Monday if the Opposition is prepared to act in a consensual manner and in good faith,” President Granger said in his address.
He made it clear that the Constitution of Guyana is sacrosanct and supreme, and that the independence of the judiciary remains intact and the Elections Commission also remains independent.
Granger agreed that it was most important for him and the Leader of the Opposition to conclude the process of appointing a new GECOM Chairman.
“The President of the CCJ, Justice Adrian Saunders, stated that this is imperative and of utmost urgency, I agree….I have committed since 21st December 2018 to the holding of free and fair elections,” he said.
Representatives of the government and the opposition met three times this week to “hammer out” the list of nominees for the position of GECOM chair.
Two weeks after the CCJ’s ruling that his appointment was unconstitutional, Patterson resigned and the process to find his replacement began.
The CCJ President said today there was therefore no need for the court to issue any orders on that matter. However, the court said the appointment process should be embarked upon with “the utmost urgency”.