Jagdeo: PPP will not be blackmailed, will not return to Parliament
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo Wednesday evening declared that the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) will not return to the National Assembly to legally extend the life of the Government.
“The only reason they want us to go back to Parliament is to give legal coverage to the illegalities they have committed over the past year,” Jagdeo told the News Room.
In an address to the nation, President David Granger announced March 2 as the earliest possible date for elections but sought to suggest that date is conditional upon the approval of an extension by the National Assembly.
“The extension of a period beyond three months for the holding of an election is related to the Elections Commission’s readiness to hold the elections.
“The Government of Guyana must, as a consequence, return to the National Assembly to request an extension,” the President stated.
But Jagdeo said this is another falsehood and the PPP will not be blackmailed into attending the National Assembly.
He said GECOM’s readiness to hold elections and the President’s discharge of his constitutional responsibility are in no way linked.
The Parliament is currently on recess and will resume on October 10 after which the Government can set a date for a Parliamentary sitting. But Jagdeo told the News Room that the PPP will not attend.
The Constitution mandates elections within three months after the passage of a No-Confidence motion however, the Government launched legal challenges to the passage of the motion.
Guyana’s final court of appeal, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice, ruled on June 18 that motion was validly passed.
As a result, it indicated that the three-month constitutional deadline from elections began on June 18 and hence elections were due on September 18.
It means the Government has already surpassed the date within which it could have gone to the National Assembly to request an extension for the holding of elections and hence an extension to the life of the Government.
Jagdeo said the President’s address to the nation was replete with misrepresentation and lies, where the President presents himself as a defender of constitutional rule when he has been “the primary source of unconstitutional rule in the country.”
Jagdeo also took issue that the President did not definitively declare an elections date, instead saying that March 2 was the “earliest possible date.”
“We are no clearer that definitely March will be or will not be elections or it is just another of Granger’s game,” said Jagdeo.
The Coalition partner, the Alliance For Change (AFC) has acknowledged March 2 as the date the President has set for elections.