The opposition PPP today rejected timelines for general elections drawn up by GECOM as they do not comply with the requirement for general elections within three months from December 21st when a motion of no-confidence was passed against the government.
Party members also staged a protest outside of GECOM today.
A statement from the PPP follows:
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) deems the timelines for General and Regional Elections that were proposed by the Secretariat of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) as totally unacceptable, given that these demonstrate a worrying deviation from its mandate, which is to act in compliance with the Constitution of Guyana.
The successful passage of the no-confidence motion, the validity of which has been upheld by both the legislature and the judiciary, at the level of the High Court, triggered General and Regional Elections and dictates that these must be held by March 19, 2019. The PPP will not accept any timelines that are beyond timeframe that is constitutionally stipulated for General and Regional Elections. No delays will be accepted.
The PPP notes that Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, during his meeting with the Chief Whips – as agreed on after the January 9, 2019 meeting between Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, and President David Granger – admitted that he held a meeting of key Secretariat staffers on December 22, 2018 – a day after the December 21, 2018 vote on the no- confidence motion to address a work plan in preparations for General and Regional Elections.
The Party notes too that GECOM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Yolanda Warde, on December 27, 2018, was quoted by the local media corps as saying that ‘GECOM is well prepared, will uphold its constitutional mandate, and will have to immediately put systems in place’ for General and Regional Elections.
Since then, it would seem that the continued employment of delay tactics by the Government- nominated Commissioners at GECOM has set the tone for the GECOM Secretariat – solidifying concerns about the Coalition Government’s influence over a constitutional body.
The position of the PPP is that General and Regional Elections can be held in compliance with the Constitution of Guyana.
Additionally, the People’s Progressive Party has taken note of President Granger’s statements, where, on Sunday (February 3, 2019), he said: “According to the Constitution, I remain the President, until the next President is sworn in.” The Party does not dispute this.
However, the President, conveniently it would seem, ignores the ruling of the Chief Justice (ag), who made clear that upon the passage of the no-confidence motion against the APNU+AFC Coalition Government, the Cabinet “stood resigned”. The President, therefore, must act accordingly. The refusal of the Chief Justice (ag) to grant a stay of her decision, on the request of the Attorney General, makes it clear that the 90-day timeline remains in effect and the clock is ticking. The President, although he seems unwilling, must act accordingly to uphold our Constitution.
The PPP wishes to reiterate that after the March 19, 2019 the APNU+AFC Coalition Government becomes illegal, illegitimate and unconstitutional.