Leader of the Opposition David Granger said he does not regard the statement by Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon about wanting to run off snap elections as serious and he called it piscatory.
Luncheon was said to have made the statement during his post-Cabinet press briefing held at the Office of the President on Thursday.
“Dr Luncheon is on a fishing expedition. He is just fishing for a response. I don’t regard it as a serious statement of government policy and I think the statement was made to put an idea in the public domain, to elicit some response to see whether there is going to be a favourable or unfavourable response,” Granger said at a press conference held at his Hadfield Street office yesterday.
“I am not particularly perturbed. APNU is not worried that this constitutes an intention on the part of the Government of Guyana to proceed into general elections.
We have a commitment to local government elections and we feel it would be a serious error of judgement if the government decides to go to national elections without going through the local government elections,” he said.
He said that as far as the actual preparations for elections go, “We are concerned that after eight weeks no assent has been given [to the local government bills] and we feel that there might be some motive,” he said. “Either the President has it in his mind not to assent at all or there is some deliberate delay,” he said.
“The country needs local government elections and this is the direction in which we intend to move,” he added.
Granger also pointed out that the relationship with regard to the assenting of legislation is one between the Clerk of the National Assembly and the Office of the President, with no role for the Attorney General. “The Clerk has a clear duty to send the bills once they are approved by the Parliament to the President. No mention is made of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, no mention is made of the Minister of Legal Affairs or the Attorney General,” said Granger.
“APNU holds the view that the Clerk of the National Assembly has an obligation under the Standing Orders of the National Assembly and the Constitution to send the bills without undue delay to the President. That is our view and it has not changed,” he added.