Jagdeo will only meet President to discuss date for elections, nothing else


Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo Thursday said he was not considering any date after March 19 for general elections at this time and will not meet with President David Granger unless it has to do with discussing a date for elections.

“I am not seeking any meeting with him; he needs to comply with the constitution.

“You have a President who is driving us into a constitutional crisis,” Jagdeo said at a press conference at his Church Street, Georgetown office.

“He believes he can just stay there forever; he is deluding himself.

“It is a desperate act and it threatens his so-called ‘democratic’ credentials.

Jagdeo suggested that with the Government showing no inclination to move on the No Confidence vote by calling elections, he was wary of considering an extension of the timeline for elections.

The Government needs the support of the Opposition for an extension to the date for holding general elections, with the constitution stipulating that a vote of two-thirds of the National Assembly is needed; the government has just 33 seats in the 65-seat House.

The Opposition Leader pointed out that the Court has granted no stay in the implementation of the No Confidence motion, so the timeline is ticking.

“I wonder if you get convicted for killing somebody and then you say, ‘I can’t go to jail, I have to wait until the final court rules on it so I will stay out of prison till then.’

“This is the analogous situation.

“The Chief Justice ruled that the timeline didn’t stop, you have to observe the No Confidence vote was validly passed.

“You’re in jail; you’re in jail now.

“Until you get a stop, a release or bail from that you have to comply.”

The Opposition Leader maintained also that the Guyana Elections Commission has the ability to hold elections before July and the PPP Commissioners have been pressing that case, again dismissing claims that young people will be disenfranchised if elections are held without house to house registration to prepare a clean list.

He said the Commissioners of the PPP are arguing for an early timeline to clean the list.

With collaboration with the General Registrar’s Office, he said those not on the list can be placed there, debunking the “nonsense” that young people will not be able to vote.

The Secretariat has determined that it needs the go-ahead from the elections commission to start preparations for elections and it has not received any such green light.

Whenever it gets the go-ahead, the Secretariat says that the earliest it would be able to have elections is 148 days.

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