President requests work programme from GECOM to name date for elections

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President David Granger on Wednesday mandated the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to present him with a work programme and outline its needs to fast track the naming of a date for elections.

“I urge you to present your plans, programmes and financial needs which will guide my proclamation of a suitable date for elections,” the President said in a letter to the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice (Ret’d) James Patterson.

In the letter published by the Department of Public Information, the Head of State requested the work programme “in the shortest possible time” from the Commission.

“I emphasise that this is essential to inform me of the Commission’s readiness to deliver credible elections in Guyana,” he noted.

The President has been under pressure to name a date for General and Regional Elections as the 90 days limit for the naming of the date is coming to an end in eight days.

Following the passage of a No-Confidence Motion against the Government on December 21, Article 106 (7) of the Constitution requires that the Government shall hold an election within three months unless the two-thirds of the members of the National Assembly agree on an extension.

The National Assembly has met once since the motion was passed, however, the political opposition was absent from that sitting.

Last week the President met with Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo and subsequently the Chair and GECOM Commissioners.

Following the meeting with GECOM, the President identified that differing views by GECOM’s commissioners who belong to the Government and Opposition political parties is hindering the process.

However, he left it to the Commissioners to come to an agreement – a move which several Civil Society bodies found to be “unacceptable.”

On Tuesday (March 12, 2019), Commissioners elected by the People’s Progressive Party for the third consecutive week walked out of a GECOM statutory meeting.

 

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