President using GECOM to delay elections – Shuman
The Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), launched on January 12, says Tuesday’s rulings by the Caribbean Court of Justice was “just.”
However, LJP Leader Lenox Shuman said he believes President David Granger is using the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) as another tactic to delay the holding of General and Regional Elections.
“It seems as though the President wants to use GECOM as another stalling tactic to moving this nation forward,” Shuman said at a press conference at Kingston, Georgetown on Tuesday.
The President, in his statement following the ruling, said his Government will accept and abide by the court’s decision but noted that he cannot proceed with elections using the current voters list.
The elections body was set to begin house to house registration to prepare a new voter’s list. The GECOM chairman had told the President that after the registration process, elections would be possible in late November.
Shuman said the President has the authority to set a date for the elections and GECOM is required to put the systems in place to facilitate the process.
“Our position is that the President has a responsibility to the nation to make a proclamation of that date; everything else peripheral to that is irrelevant,” he said.
Shuman, who is his party’s Presidential Candidate for the upcoming election, further explained his point, noted that “GECOM cannot dictate to the President what date they want.
“It is for the President [who] has the constitutional authority to dictate for elections and GECOM has a responsibility to the nation to ensure they are prepared to execute elections on that date.”
He further stated that if GECOM cannot be ready for elections in 90 days, it can be deemed a dereliction of duty.
The CCJ ruled that the December 21 No Confidence motion was properly passed with 33 votes in the 65-seat National Assembly. It also ruled that the appointment of the Chairman of GECOM breached the Constitution.
With the court’s ruling that the No-Confidence motion against the Government was validly passed and the fact that the People’s Progressive Party was faced with a No-Confidence motion in 2014, Shuman believes it is time for his party to chart a new way forward.
“We anticipate that our chances are exceptional…we’re not going to win just a seat or two…if not the administration; we’re going to have significant amount of political capital to be utilised,” he said.
He hopes the 68.8% of the country’s population who are youths will be ready to support a new party.
Shuman is also hoping to grab the votes of persons who feel disenfranchised by the previous and current governments.
He also sought to distinguish his party from current and former leaders saying “We are not going to go into office to enrich ourselves and our cronies…those things should be vocabularies from the past.”
The CCJ gave both sides time to form a consensus and it will convene on Monday to consider this.
The LJP leader called on President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo to meet and come to a consensus on the way forward.