British diplomat calls on leaders to find solution to political impasse

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With less than a week before the three-month period required to hold General and Regional Elections expires, British High Commissioner to Guyana Greg Quinn says political leaders should seek to find consensus.

“We’re now in a situation where both sides need to come together and decide what the solution is and how we get over the current issue,” the High Commissioner told the News Room in an interview at his Bel Air Gardens residence on Friday.

President David Granger and Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo met on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, but the two sides failed to come to an agreement for an extension to the March 21 deadline for the holding of elections in Guyana.

The President subsequently met with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and has written to the Commission formally for them to present a work plan and advise him of the earliest date it can conduct elections.

The British High Commissioner noted that “if the Elections Commission is not ready and everybody agrees that it’s not ready, that’s a decision taken.”

He added that “there [is] a process to follow to extend what is that three months date which started on the 21st of December so it is now sort of contingent on those who are responsible to try and do that…to actually do that.”

The President on March 13 sent a letter to GECOM requesting an outline of the Commission’s plans and programmes along with financial needs.

At a press conference on Thursday, Jagdeo told the media that the President and Government will become illegal and unconstitutional after March 21 and even told his supporters to chase the Government Ministers who may visit their communities after then.

However, the British High Commission hopes that the situation will not reach this level.

“I am hoping there will be a resolution and that’s certainly what I think everybody wants to see before we get to that stage,” he said.

The Government condemned the  ‘chase them out’ comment, noting that it is “malicious.”

Article 106 of the Constitution states that while the government remains in place following the passage of a No Confidence motion, it cannot continue in office beyond the three-month deadline unless there is a Parliamentary vote of a two-third majority of the 65-seat House.

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