Jagdeo suggests UN conducts Guyana’s elections

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Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo has suggested that the United Nations (UN) conduct elections in Guyana, a move that could be cheaper and quell concerns of rigging.

“Maybe we should just contract it out…get the United Nations,” he proposed at a news conference Thursday, adding that there can just be oversight from Guyanese.

The Leader of the Opposition explained that this is not a proposal he is advocating for but the entire issue about the conduct of elections can be discussed when he meets President David Granger for high-level political talks.

Jagdeo noted that the option may be favourable since it could add some credibility to the elections process since “many Guyanese fear that APNU [A Partnership for National Unity] will rig the elections.”

The former President indicated that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) may not support the idea of having the Constitution of Guyana amended to give the National Assembly the power to select Commissioners to serve on the seven-member Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), a concept which has found favour with President Granger.

Article 161 of the Constitution already lays out a process for the appointment of GECOM Commissioners, a structure which was recommended by former US President Jimmy Carter – which Jagdeo believes guarantees fairness.

It stipulates that three Commissioners be appointed by the President, three by the Opposition Parties and the Chairman be selected by the Head of State from a list of candidates submitted by the Opposition Leader.

“Right now there is no other model in the game expecting what is in our Constitution and President Granger has to respect that and he has disrespected that,” he said, referring to the unilateral appointment of Justice James Patterson as the GECOM Chairman.

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