Elections must be held within three months – Jagdeo

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Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo Thursday afternoon indicated that the opposition will be asking the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to order that elections be held within three months and that the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) be replaced.

“Elections have to be held within three months,” Jagdeo stated at a press conference at his Church Street, Georgetown office. He said that that timeframe is “generous” given the time that has elapsed since the passage of the No Confidence motion.

This follows Tuesday’s decision by the CCJ – Guyana’s final court of appeal – that the December 21 No Confidence motion was validly passed and the provisions of Article 106 (6) and (7) of the Constitution were thus triggered.

Those provisions are for elections in three months, unless the deadline is extended by Parliament.

Given that there was no extension, Jagdeo said it means the Government has been illegal since March 21.

“The constitution has spoken, the CCJ has spoken – elections in three months.

“You have to be consistent with the constitution,” Jagdeo declared.

The CCJ Tuesday also ruled that President David Granger breached the constitution on October 19, 2017 when he unilaterally appointed the Chairman of GECOM.

The President has said he we will ask Jagdeo to restart the process but he wanted the CCJ to make its orders because he, the President, maintained nothing he did was flawed.

Jagdeo rubbished arguments by President Granger that the list used for elections just last November is outdated and corrupted.

Jagdeo said the current list can be updated using the National Register of Registrants which lists everyone over 14 who has registered. From that register, the voters list is prepared.

Jagdeo said that since the last house to house registration exercise, there have been 10 periods of continuous registration, including five cycles since the 2015 general elections, and so anyone aged 14 and over up to October 31, 2018, could have been registered.

Now, he said there could be a short period of Claims and Objections period to clean up the list, including removing dead persons off the list.

Jagdeo argued that house to house registration is a “ploy” to delay elections.

But Jagdeo said GECOM has to comply with the constitution.

The CCJ will hear from the contesting parties, including GECOM, on what consequential orders should be made after it ruled the No Confidence motion was passed.

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