Gov’t throwing country into a constitutional crisis – PPP

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Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo Thursday said that the Government has not treated the No Confidence motion seriously and is at risk of throwing the country into a constitutional crisis, given that half of the time since the passage of the No Confidence motion has already expired.

Mr Jagdeo, at a press conference, also dismissed as “nonsense” the call for house to house registration, since it is a further plot to delay the holding of new general elections.

March 19 is the constitutional deadline for the holding of new general and regional elections following the passage of the No Confidence motion.

But the Opposition Leader said the Government is dragging its feet and not treating the matter seriously.

The Government has filed an appeal to the Chief Justice ruling that the motion was legally passed, but she denied an order for the status quo to remain.

As a result, Jagdeo said the timeline is ticking, but the Government is acting in bad faith by seeking to cling on to power.

The elections deadline can only be extended with the support of the Opposition since the constitution dictates that a vote of two-thirds of the 65-seat house is needed.

According to Mr Jagdeo, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) can expedite the processes needed to hold elections, such as by speeding up training of elections day staff and accelerating timelines for procurement.

Jagdeo said there is no need for house to house registration as the governing Coalition insists, claiming that thousands of young people will be disenfranchised.

But the Opposition Leader reasoned that persons are eligible for registration and receive an ID card when they attain the age of 14.

It is from that national register, Jagdeo said, that the electoral list is extracted.

As a result, he said the call for house to house registration, which can take months, is “nonsense.”

As the deadline for new elections approaches, the Government has insisted it is business as usual, even though the High Court has ruled that the Cabinet stood resigned immediately on the passage of the No Confidence motion.

Mr Jagdeo indicated the PPP would feel assured in agreeing to an extension of the deadline for elections if the President were to set a date for elections and stop the insistence that the Government can function as usual.

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