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GUYANA | Jagdeo wants immediate elections

Opposition Leader  Bharrat Jagdeo wants immediate elections Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo wants immediate elections
GEORGETOWN, February 2, 2019 - On the heels of a favourable High Court ruling on last month’s no-confidence motion,Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, is adamant that elections are held within  the 90 day timeframe given by the Guyana constitution, and  has threatened to  court action to have the Elections Commission (GECOM) hold elections by March 19.

Jagdeo told a news conference “We are exploring now whether we can go to the courts to direct GECOM to fulfill its constitutional duties and not take directions from the government, the executive which wants to hang on to power at all cost.”

He called on the government to comply with Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire’s decision and resign because the no-confidence motion was validly passed on December 21, 2018.

The Opposition Leader wants President David Granger to announce that he respects Guyana’s constitution and “not doing so will show gross disrespect” for the constitution.

Insisting that general elections could be held by March 19 — in keeping with the 90 day deadline after the passage of the no-confidence motion — Jagdeo said the time to act was now while at the same time acknowledging that the appeal could go “either way”.

The Chief Justice refused an application by Attorney General Basil Williams for a stay and conservatory order of her decision. She said the request for a stay could be made to the Court of Appeal after the official written decision is given to the lawyers next week Wednesday.

GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield says he will inform the Elections Commission next week what are the short, medium and long timeframes for holding general elections.

The government and its three nominated elections commissioners have been arguing in favour of house-to-house registration because the list of about 500,000 names is bloated when one considers the total population of about 745,000.

Jagdeo accused the government of calling for house-to-house registration a means of delaying the elections as this exercise could take six months to a year.

Meanwhile, Jagdeo cautioned that Cabinet was meeting illegally since December 21, 2019 and the High Court “ruling effectively invalidates all decisions and meetings”.

The High Court found that the no-confidence motion was validly passed by an absolute majority of 33 to 32, and that the House proceedings on December 21, 2019 were valid in spite of then government lawmaker, Charrandas Persaud, a dual citizen legislator voting for the motion.

  • Countries: Guyana
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