The Main Parliamentary Opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), has both a
moral responsibility and an obligation under the law to present a list that is “not unacceptable.”
These were the sentiments expressed by Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, yesterday as he weighed in on the apparent contentious issue of finding a Chairperson for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
Nagamootoo, in an invited comment, related that as a participant in the Constitutional Reform process, and having looked at the intention of the Carter Formula, which requires that six names be submitted to the President that are not unacceptable, would fly in the face of the Formula, logics and reason.
“If you try to put names that would be a provocation, that would invite the President to say the list is unacceptable. Remember the President cannot just say ‘I don’t agree with this person or I don’t agree with this person’.
“You have to deem the entire list unacceptable so I believe that the approach taken by the Leader of the Opposition to exclude from the list rather than include in the list was in fact, a recipe for a rejection of the entire list.”
The PM also touched on what he described as the “President’s interpretation of the Constitution” with regards to the criterion for selecting a new GECOM Chairman.
“The President has given an interpretation to the Constitution and it’s clear to me that the Constitution never intended that you should lock out someone who is a judge or who is qualified to become a judge or who might have been a retired judge.
“So the issue of whether you should have a judge is a Constitutional requirement and I agree with the
interpretation of the President on that issue.”
GECOM Chairman, Dr. Steve Surujbally, who served for over a decade and a half, signalled his intention to step down on November 30, 2016 with the process to find a replacement commencing almost immediately. However, the choice is turning out to be anything but “normal”.
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