Shuman’s Party tells Carter Centre that Opposition, Gov’t need to extend elections date

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A delegation from the Carter Centre on Monday met with members of the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) where they were informed that the Parliamentary Opposition and the Government need to work together and extend the deadline for general and regional elections in Guyana.

Following the successful passage of the December 21 No Confidence motion, the Government is mandated by the constitution to set a date for elections by March 21, which is only two days away.

Only a Parliamentary vote of two-thirds of the members of the House can extend the date for elections, and there is no move yet for that to happen.

The JLP, in a statement, disclosed that the Carter Centre team, was led by Jason Carter, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

According to the statement, Sean Dublin, Executive Member of the LJP, answered Carter’s fact-finding questions and the team was informed that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) needs to be de-politicised and function as an independent that adheres to its mandate.

“Both sides of the National Assembly need to come together to vote on an approved extended election date,” the JLP told the Carter Centre team.

“The Guyanese Constitution is written to keep governments in power with its deliberate ambiguity and lack of clarity on important issues which are left wide open for interpretation,” the statement pointed out.

The party said during the meeting, its member Dr. Gerald Forde cited “political immaturity” and cautioned that the major political parties should not employ “irresponsible rhetoric” given Guyana’s history of violence during election periods.

The party’s Executive member, Ras. Khafra spoke of the negative implications to the business community in Guyana if elections are not called a timely manner.

The party’s Presidential Candidate, Lenox Shuman was unable to attend the meeting but according to the statement, Shuman has since noted that the Carter Centre’s credentials and calibre speak for themselves with their tireless commitment to enhancing freedom and democracy all over the world.

“We are only three days away from political “No Man’s Land”. I trust that common sense, the Constitution of Guyana and the Rule of Law prevail and all stakeholders do the right thing for all Guyanese people, putting the wellbeing of all Guyanese people above Party politics,” Shuman was quoted as saying.

The LJP was launched in 2018 to contest the next General and Regional Elections.

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