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GUYANA | Jagdeo Stands Firm-Wants Election on Existing Voters List

  • Written by Wiredja Source: Demerara Waves
  • Published in Politics
Featured Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo says he won't agree to any extention of the deadline by which general elections should be held. Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo says he won't agree to any extention of the deadline by which general elections should be held.
GEORGETOWN,  Guyana, June 24, 2019 - Despite the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) having told the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Monday that a new house-to-house-generated voters list would not be ready until late December, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo today ruled out agreeing to any extention of the deadline by which general elections should be held.

Jagdeo told a news conference today that “What is non-negotiable is... going back to Parliament to extend the life of this government.”  In addition, the Opposition Leader is adamant that a new GECOM Chairman has to be appointed to replace James Patterson, whose unilateral appointment by the president  the CCJ said  was flawed and unconstitutional because Granger had rejected Jagdeo’s 18 nominees without giving reasons.

“We are open-minded in our discussions with the President but there are some red lines we won’t cross” Jagdeo stated.

According to the Demerara Waves, Jagdeo "appeared willing to meet with the President, in concert with a desire by the CCJ to reach consensus on the consequential orders that should flow from last week’s decisions that the December 21, 2018 no-confidence motion was validly passed and the GECOM Chairman’s appointment flouted the constitution."

Jagdeo said he would be seeking clarification from Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon about whether Granger was still willing to meet in the absence of the CCJ’s orders.

The Trinidad-based CCJ on Monday said it would hand down its consequential orders next month which would seek to strike a balance between the 90-day timeframe within which general elections should be held after a no-confidence motion is passed by the National Assembly, and the need to have fair elections in which the majority of Guyanese can participate.

Insisting that the existing voters’ list, which expired on April 30, could be revived and subjected to a claims and objections period to allow for elections to be held in August or September, Jagdeo feared that “if we go to house-to-house, it (general elections) wouldn’t even be December.”

Attorney General, Basil Williams on Monday told the CCJ that Guyana’s Executive President enjoys the power to consult with GECOM, dissolve Parliament and name an elections date. He wants the CCJ to issue an order that would facilitate the President doing so.

“If there is no agreement, for example, to go for the two-thirds resolution because our belief respectfully is that those three months have been overtaken; whether they are directory or mandatory, they have been overtaken and, therefore, if we can’t get together in the Parliament to get the two-thirds majority, then of necessity, the President, being given the power under the constitution to name an election date and dissolve Parliament, should—and this is the order—should have consultations with the Elections Commission, dissolve the National Assembly and general and regional elections should be fixed by the President,” Williams said.

A New and United Guyana (ANUG) political party at the weekend pointed out that the seven-member elections commission had never decided on house-to-house registration. Instead, that party said it was the pro-coalition’s three elections commissioners and the now unconstitutionally-appointed GECOM Chairman that had voted for such a process to create a new voters’ list. In light of that Chairman’s status, ANUG says that decision was void.

  • Countries: Guyana

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