President meets with Opposition Leader again on elections
President David Granger on Friday afternoon met with Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo and PPP Presidential Candidate, Irfaan Ali to discuss issues surrounding national elections.
Speaking with reporters outside State House following the meeting, Mr. Jagdeo said the two sides took the time to clarify their position on those issues which include the September 18 deadline for elections.
They also discussed the resignation of the Cabinet and the ongoing House to House registration exercise consistent with the work programme of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
“I think it is early and we hopefully will meet again sometime soon,” Jagdeo told the press following the meeting which lasted for just over one hour.
While he is holding firm to his position that elections should be held by September 18, Mr Jagdeo was asked about possibly agreeing to an extension of this deadline under certain conditions.
In response, he said: “what should happen is what I asked the President to do- which he has not done – and is not willing to do, which is to issue a proclamation dissolving the Parliament, name a date for the elections consistent with what the Constitution says and then that is a positive signal to start the work and have the Cabinet resign.
“Then…in that context, I don’t mind sitting down again, myself and Irfaan [Ali] and talking about this.”
“Right now we have not made a decision on that because there is no date and there is no reasonableness on the part of the Government,” Mr Jagdeo said.
The Opposition Leader referred to statements made recently by PNCR Member Dr George Norton who had noted the Government will accept the ruling of the High Court as it relates to House-to-House registration, however, Jagdeo also noted that there are other PNCR members who believe that the registration should be completed.
The PPP believes the registration exercise is being used to delay the elections and has argued that a simple Claims and Objections period can be used to register persons who would have reached the age to vote after the last elections.
Friday’s meeting came one day after the President met with Chairman of GECOM Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh and Commissioners.