Jagdeo unbending, says November too late for elections
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday declared that the Opposition will not bow to “fallacies” of the Government regarding house to house registration, saying without it elections can be held in a matter of months.
Jagdeo also maintained that the President and the Government will become illegal on Friday, given that there has been no extension to the constitutional deadline for elections.
He said the President is acting in flagrant violation of the constitution and the PPP is not prepared to “roll over and play dead” on these issues.
Justice (Rt’d) James Patterson, the chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), wrote President David Granger, informing him that GECOM can run off elections in late November, which will be eight months after the expiration of the constitutional deadline.
With the passage of the No Confidence motion on December 21, the constitution dictates that elections be held in three months unless an extension is agreed to by two-thirds in the National Assembly.
The Government has denied that the country would head into a constitutional crisis after March 21, and the President has been adamant that his proclamation of an elections date is dependent on the advice he receives from GECOM.
In his letter to the President, the chairman of GECOM pointed to the need for house to house registration and said the Commission’s budget was being utilised for that purpose.
Jagdeo said there is no need for house to house registration since the current list was not challenged by the very parties for use in Local Government elections a few months ago.
Jagdeo said house to house registration will not enhance transparency or voters’ rights.
With there being no need for registration, Jagdeo suggested that elections can be held in a short period and with the $5.3 billion GECOM currently has.
Jagdeo said that from Friday, when the Government becomes unconstitutional, the President can be criminally held liable for his actions in Government.
He said the party will undertake countrywide protests and other political actions to call attention to the illegality of the government.