President Irfaan Ali made it clear on Monday that the opposition leader must first recognize the legitimacy of his presidency and the government before deliberations on the appointment of a chancellor and chief justice can take place.
According to the Constitution of Guyana, the president and the opposition leader must deliberate and agree on the appointment of the two highest judicial posts.
At a press conference marking the first year of his administration, President Ali said the opposition leader must publicly recognize the government in order to move the process forward.
“In the case of the Federal Chancellor and the Chief Justice, the President and the opposition leader must be consulted directly. I definitely know who the opposition leader is and I definitely know who the President of Guyana is. And I’m sure Harmon (opposition leader) definitely knows who is also the opposition leader and who is the president, and so the ball is up to him to do the right thing, ”said the president.
The Constitution of Guyana does not provide for recognition of the official duty of the consultation process for the two highest appointments.
But the president insists that there will be no consultation with the opposition leader until he recognizes the government’s legitimacy.
Acting Chancellor Yonette Cummings and Acting Chief Justice Roxane George
“The opposition leader has still not made a statement recognizing the legitimacy of the government so I don’t know who I’m consulting with, I know he is the opposition leader, but I’m not sure he knows who he is. “Consult with,” Ali said.
Since taking office, the President has refused to cooperate with the opposition leader on any matter, despite the fact that the Constitution provides for consultations between him on several matters.
While the President has held out consultations with Mr Harmon, the government and opposition recently held parliamentary discussions to move forward with the appointment of the Local Government Commission.