A New and United Guyana (ANUG), has called on the APNU+AFC and the PPP/C to agree that elections should be held in late November or early December regardless of the outcome of any court appeals and for house-to-house registration to commence immediately.
In a statement, the recently-formed political party said that it has viewed with increasing alarm, the heightened political and ethnic tension generated by the no-confidence motion passed by the National Assembly on December 21, 2018.
The Court of Appeal, by a majority decision, on Friday invalidated the passage of the no-confidence motion against the government, saying that an “absolute majority” of 34 votes was needed.
Yesterday, ANUG said that the evidence suggests that investors have adopted a wait and see attitude “so that the economy is suffering and livelihoods are at stake.” The only way this dire situation can be resolved is by agreement between the two main political parties, the party said.
It therefore urged that the two political parties agree to a date for elections “based on the clear intention of President Granger, expressed during last week, to fix a date in late November or early December.”
ANUG also said that house-to-house registration should commence immediately. “Sufficient resources should be given to GECOM to ensure that the exercise is completed in time and enhanced monitoring should be agreed between the parties to be paid for by the Government,” the statement said.
“The date agreed to between the political parties should prevail whatever decision is made by the CCJ (Caribbean Court of Justice),” it added.
ANUG further said that if the CCJ upholds an appeal and rules that the lawful majority is 33, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo should agree to support a resolution in the National Assembly to extend its life until the date for elections.
“Agreed measures for more effective and secure monitoring of voting on election day, with additional training of election day staff, observed by all political parties, should be implemented at Government’s expense,” ANUG added.
On Friday, the Appellate Court, in a split decision, overturned an earlier ruling that the no-confidence motion was validly passed on a vote of 33 to 32 elected members of the National Assembly.
Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag) Yonette Cummings-Edwards and appellate judge Dawn Gregory both agreed that 34 votes were required to guarantee the motion’s successful passage, while appellate judge Rishi Persaud dissented and endorsed Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire’s ruling in the lower court.
While Jagdeo said his party would respect the ruling of the court, both he and his attorney Anil Nandlall have indicated plans to appeal to the CCJ. Attorney and accountant Christopher Ram, who was one of the respondents in the appeals brought by government after the Chief Justice found on an application in his name that the APNU+AFC Cabinet, including the president, stood resigned upon the passage of the PPP/C-sponsored motion on December 21st, on Saturday also indicated that he has instructed that his attorney appeal the decision at the CCJ.