President cannot cherry-pick CJ’s ruling on GECOM

Dear Editor,

At the outset allow me to join the number of organisations and persons who condemned President Granger’s unilateral appointment of a GECOM Chairman and apologise to all eighteen nominees who were insulted by Granger’s decision to reject all of the lists and appoint his own person as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission. All of the nominees have had distinguished careers and years of service to our beloved country and many of them would have made stellar chairpersons for GECOM.

I have read the subsequent statements from the President that he is advised that there is no legal requirement to give reasons for his rejection of the list of nominees submitted by the Leader of the Opposition and allow me the opportunity to expose the duplicitous double standards thereof. Nowhere in the Constitution does it state that the President has the right to act unilaterally once a list is submitted by the Leader of the Opposition. That point was inserted into the debate (in my legal opinion incorrectly and is now the subject of an appeal) by the ruling of the Chief Justice (ag) which further states, as others have already pointed out, that such point is merely academic under the extant circumstances as more than one list was sought and submitted. The President sought, therefore, to justify his action which is not justified by the Constitution by the said ruling but refuses to accept the point in the very ruling which states that reasons “must” be provided for the rejection of the list. Granger cannot cherry-pick the parts of the ruling which are helpful to him and refuse the parts of the ruling which are unhelpful to him but in so doing he has exposed his duplicitous double standards.

Yours faithfully,

Charles S. Ramson

Attorney at Law

Former Member of Parliament

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