OPINION: President’s reference to constitution wholly and entirely inaccurate

By Charles Ramson Jr

Attorney-at-law

The letter received by the Leader of the Opposition from President Granger wherein Granger rejected the second list of persons from which a Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission, not unacceptable to the President, shall be appointed (once a list is submitted by the Leader of the Opposition) concludes with the following, “I have examined the Curricula Vitae of the six persons in light of the criteria defined in my letter to you dated 2017.03.14.

I have found the list to be ‘unacceptable’ within the meaning of the Constitution and of those criteria.” There has been much discourse vis a vis the legality of President Granger’s attempt to include “criteria” by way of a letter not so prescribed in the Constitution so I shall not seek to hereby add anything further to that specific part of the discourse. I, however, take serious issue with the accuracy of the final sentence “I have found the list to be ‘unacceptable’ within the meaning of the Constitution and of those criteria”, and any confusion or misapprehension, deliberate or negligent, that it may cause.

It must be clear that the Constitution offers no meaning, interpretation, or definition of the word “unacceptable”. In fact, the word “unacceptable” appears just one other time in the Constitution i.e. Art. 212N (3), which is almost exactly the same in construct and syntax and ought to be referenced in this discourse if simply for the sake of interpretation. Unless proven otherwise, the reference to the Constitution in the concluding sentence is wholly and entirely inaccurate and has no place therein unless a deliberate attempt to mislead the public discourse.

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