Are a few more months in office worth the trouble?

By virtue of the now familiar Article 106(7) of the Constitution of Guyana, elections are due to be held within three months of the passage of a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly on December 21, 2018, that is, by the end of March. The court has no power to alter the Constitution by extending the time. Only the National Assembly, by a two-third majority, can do so.

The first step after the passage of the no-confidence motion ought to have been a directive from the President to the Chair of the Elections Commission to provide a timetable for the holding of elections before the end of March, 2019. This is what the Opposition Leader, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, ought to have insisted on at his meeting with President Granger on January 9. Instead, the Opposition allowed itself to be ensnared in a charade of fruitless consultation with the Elections Commission. That it would have been fruitless was later signaled by a chorus that a new electoral list was needed and by a delay in the meeting. The most recent, flimsy excuses are that time is needed for the training of elections day staff and the mobilization of supplies. These can be accomplished in weeks. Existing trained staff for local government elections only need to be upgraded and supplies can be acquired by emergency procurement…..

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