- Judicial appointments
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has refused to give reasons for rejecting the nominees for the positions of Chancellor of the Judiciary and Chief Justice.
President David Granger has put forward Justice Kenneth Benjamin to fill the post of Chancellor and Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards for Chief Justice.
However, according to constitutional provisions, the President would require the Leader of the Opposition to be in agreement with these nominations, which Jagdeo is not prepared to do.
Jagdeo told a media conference on Thursday that “if required at some time in the future I can provide reason I chose not to do so in the letter and I choose not to do so today because I am not in the business of judging people in the public domain and these are two distinguished individuals that have had long careers in the judiciary.”
Jagdeo said he is prepared to meet with the President to settle on a process that will see them coming up with nominees who both sides can agree on.
Commenting on this, President David Granger said he is baffled as to why the names he put forward for the judicial posts were rejected.
“I don’t think there is anything in the character of these two persons that ought to have prevented a selection they are fit and proper persons and my expectation of the whole nation is that we should move forward like other developed countries,” the president said.
Additionally, the Head of State said he believes that the Opposition Leader has no choice in the matter.
“The problem that has arisen now will be examined by my legal advisor and an announcement will be made, but we needed to have substantive appointments and he has not advanced any reasons why he couldn’t confirm and he just have to accept the situation as we find it now,” President Granger said.
At a meeting in January, the opposition and government agreed to meet again on February 7 to discuss the nominees put forward, but the opposition leader did not show up for that engagement.
Instead, Jagdeo sent three letters, moments before the commencement of the meeting to the President, indicating his rejection of the nominees.
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