Justice Singh, in her letter to the President, informed she is cognizant of the fact that the Guyanese Leader and the nation were anxiously awaiting the specific information in relation to GECOM’s readiness to conduct credible elections in the shortest time possible.
She said that the February 2020 timeline considers all the objective factors, deliberations of the commission, and her most recent consultations with the GECOM secretariat.
President Granger is now expected to announce an election date based on the timeline presented to him by the GECOM chair. He told members of the media that the government is complying with the Constitution of Guyana since it is allowing the electoral body to do its work.
The President stressed the importance of the functions of GECOM as he called on the foreign missions to allow his government to resolve the issues regarding the electoral process. PNCR General Secretary and Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally said she endorsed the position taken by the President regarding GECOM’s independence. “We can’t fight with GECOM,” she said, noting that when the body is ready to host the elections, the president would have to abide with commission’s state of readiness. ”We can’t tell GECOM about the timelines, they know what they are doing,” she said.
On Thursday, with the exception of Canada, the joint missions which include the embassies of the United States, the European Delegation to Guyana and the British High Commission, said that by surpassing September 18, 2019, the Government is in breach of the Constitution “following its failure to adhere to the decisions of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on 18 June and its subsequent orders.”
In the meantime, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo expressed disappointment with the proposed February 2020 elections timeline. However, he noted that the People’s Progressive Party will work towards ensuring elections are held no later than February 2020.
The opposition leader has promised continuous protests until elections are held. “We are never going to get into violent protests that will harm innocent people and ordinary Guyanese people…but we will target the person who is acting illegally and so Granger , wherever he shows up, wherever he goes he is going to be met with protests that will point out and disruptions that will say to him… that ‘we are not going to be violent but will not tolerate dictatorship in this country’,” Jagdeo said.
Jagdeo said he was disappointed in the fact that the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission has indicated this timeline to the President when she had only last week said that they are working towards a timeline before the end of the year.
“We’re extremely disappointed with this date but happy that the excuse (that he is waiting for GECOM to advise him before naming a date for elections) taken away from the President,” Jagdeo said.
Nevertheless, the Opposition Leader contended that while the party does not agree with her timeline, it still has faith and confidence in the GECOM Chair’s ability to deliver credible elections.
Jagdeo accused the staff of the GECOM Secretariat of sabotaging the electoral process, and launched a personal attack on the the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield.
According to Jagdeo, the government wants to hold elections after Mashramani 2020 and he assumed that the administration wants to spend monies on activities during the Republic festivities to sway the electorate.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued late on Thursday, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) called on the President to proclaim a date, not later than the earliest date suggested by the GECOM Chair, for the holding of General Elections. The GCCI said the populace deserves transparency and accountability from institutions at all levels of government and the body called on the country’s leaders to maintain democracy by acting in accordance with the supreme law of Guyana.
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