Oct 28, 2017 News Comments Off on GECOM Chairman legal challenge… U.S. envoy calls for quick resolution
-Urges all to act with dignity and respect
United States (U.S.) Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, has called for a quick resolution to the court challenge mounted by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) against the unilateral appointment of retired Justice James
Patterson as the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
In a statement issued yesterday, Ambassador Holloway, who has been silent on this issue, noted that many sectors in Guyana have asked for his comment, using the freedom of expression offered by the Constitution of Guyana.
“I think all involved agree that this matter is too important for all, for it to languish in the legal system, so a quick resolution to any court challenge is necessary,” the Ambassador stated.
PPP/C’s Executive Member and Member of Parliament, Zulfikar Mustapha through the law firm, Mohabir A. Nandlall and Associates, moved to the High Court on Monday last, seeking a declaration that Justice Patterson’s appointment is in violation of and contrary to Article 161(2) of the Constitution and is accordingly unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect.
Further, Mustapha is seeking a declaration that Justice Patterson is not qualified to be appointed as the Chairman of GECOM in accordance with and in pursuance to Article 161(2) of the Constitution; and an order directing the President to choose a person from the eighteen names submitted to him by the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo.
According to the Ambassador, the U.S. Embassy has been following closely recent developments surrounding the appointment, and while everyone has the right to engage in democratic dialogue to discuss differences of opinion, the Courts is the ultimate and best option for any legal disagreement in a functioning democracy.
“I recognize that as in any democracy, the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana is the supreme law. I am confident that everyone, in spite of personal or political differences, wants to uphold this foundational document and to act within it, and I encourage everyone to do so. That said, I encourage all to act with dignity and respect in moving forward Guyana’s democratic development,” Ambassador Holloway asserted.
The envoy recognized that there has been serious disagreement over the appointment of the GECOM Chairman. The fallout from the appointment was immediate as Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo called a press conference to express his disappointment a short time before the President swore-in Justice Patterson.
Jagdeo had presented 18 names in total to President Granger, but none were deemed acceptable by the President, which led to Patterson’s appointment.
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