Guyanese can be excused for being baffled at the latest developments in the current political saga gripping the nation. On February 25th, President David Granger wrote to the Chairman of the Elections Commission, Justice James Patterson, urging the Commission to commence preparations for the conduct of the general and regional elections. In the letter the President noted that the Commission had said that it did not have the capability to deliver credible elections within three months of December 21 and that additional funds were needed. The President committed the Government to ensuring that the Commission is provided with financial resources and has sufficient time to conduct credible elections. The word “credible” is used twice.
Published at the same time was the President’s letter of the same date to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo. President Granger expressed the wish to consult with Mr. Jagdeo on the constitutional role of the National Assembly in the present situation and the Commission’s readiness and requirement for funding to conduct the elections. The letter ended with the President informing Mr. Jagdeo that he had written to the Chairman of the Commission urging him to initiate arrangements for the conduct of the elections.
Although the context of President Granger’s letter admitted the possibility of discussing a date for elections, which a reply by Mr. Jagdeo could have indicated and he could have later pursued at the meeting, he instead announced that he would decline the President’s invitation unless a date for elections was announced. Later, he demanded that a date be placed on the agenda for the meeting…..