Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon in his contribution to the debate on the 2020 National Budget in the National Assembly at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, urged that constitutional reform be treated as a priority.
He said the coalition would like to sit down with government and hammer out a bipartisan bill to take on board decisions by the Caribbean Court of Justice and Guyana’s courts in relation to the March 2 General and Regional elections.
“While that can take some time, we can examine a bipartisan bill that seeks to amend certain aspects of our electoral laws to take into consideration the findings of the CCJ and our Court of Appeal and the High Court,” he said.
The Opposition Leader said failing support from the government, the coalition would take its campaign to the people. “If we do not get buy-in from the government side on this matter because we consider it so important, we will consult with civil society and bring a motion on this floor to that effect,” Harmon said.
A motion, like a law, can be defeated by government’s simple majority of 33 seats.
The Opposition gave notice that the coalition would not be returning to the polls with the same laws and with the “same bloated list.” “It is a travesty, it is a travesty, we cannot go back,” Harmon said.
The APNU+AFC, he said, was prepared to support the allocation of more funds to facilitate the recommendations by the Courts, constitutional reform and amendment of the electoral laws. He also wants the bloated voters list to be addressed as a top priority.
In the recent elections, of the 661,378 eligible voters, 480,061 persons voted of which 460,352 votes were deemed as validly cast.
The coalition has since filed two election petitions, saying that the March 2, 2020 polls were rigged by the PPP through a bloated list, absence of documents to reconcile votes cast, voter impersonation and other irregularities.
Under intense pressure from the international community to accept the results based on the national vote recount, then President David Granger in the end insisted that he would accept any declaration that was made by the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission.
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