Court cannot force president to choose from rejected Gecom nominees

-AG argues in response to PPP challenge

James Patterson

Arguing for the dismissal of the PPP’s challenge to the appointment of retired judge James Patterson as Guyana Elections Commission (Gecom) Chairman, the Attorney General has informed the High Court that President David Granger acted within his constitutional power when he made the unilateral selection and that he cannot be legally compelled to choose from the nominees he rejected.

On Friday, an affidavit in defence, which was sworn to by Solicitor General Kim Kyte on Attorney General (AG) Basil Williams’ behalf, was submitted to the court in reply to the application by PPP executive Zulfikar Mustapha seeking the annulment of Patterson’s appointment.

In it, Kyte defends the legality of the appointment and also contends that Mustapha’s application, filed on October 23, is “absurd, misconceived and void of legal reasoning and merit.” It also argues that the president does not have to give reasons for rejecting any of the nominees for the post and that some of the arguments made against Patterson’s selection are disingenuous, as they would also mean that the nominations of Christopher Ram and Joe Singh by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo were improper…..

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