Ar­ti­cle 161(2) on ap­point­ment of GE­COM Chair­man de­mands a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach

Stabroek News - - LETTERS -

Dear Ed­i­tor, In light of the GE­COM im­broglio, I took the op­por­tu­nity to briefly an­a­lyse Ar­ti­cle 161(2) of the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Co­op­er­a­tive Re­pub­lic of Guyana Act. Par­lia­men­tary de­bates, and com­mit­tee and con­sul­ta­tion reports are use­ful guides in un­der­stand­ing the in­ten­tion of the drafters of any law. They pro­vide in­sight as to why pro­vi­sions of the Act were framed in the man­ner in which they cur­rently ap­pear.

Un­for­tu­nately, I have no ac­cess to said tran­scripts or reports of the de­bates that ac­com­pa­nied the con­sti­tu­tional re­form process in Guyana. This pro­vides a hand­i­cap in fully de­con­struct­ing Ar­ti­cle 161(2).

Ar­ti­cle 161(2) can be di­vided into three sub-parts: (1) the first speaks to the qual­i­ties that the Chair­per­son must pos­sess; (2) the sec­ond deals with the mech­a­nism for se­lec­tion; and (3) the third pro­vides a sav­ing clause to pre­clude any la­cuna in the law.

I parsed the ver­biage in 161(2) and have pro­vided brief com­ments in par­al­lel (the sep­a­ra­tion and high­lights are mine):

Ab­sent sup­ple­men­tary in­ter­pre­tive guides and read as a whole, I would ar­gue that, on its face, Ar­ti­cle 161(2) de­mands a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach. Given the his­tory of Guyana, I am hard pressed to be­lieve that the drafters did not con­sider the po­ten­tial for abuse that this resid­ual mech­a­nism pre­sented. If they did not, then Guyanese must be con­cerned. Yours faith­fully, Kowlasar Misir

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