AFC in no rush for elections

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General Secretary (GS) of the Alliance for Change (AFC), Marlon Williams

Minor Coalition partner; the Alliance For Change (AFC) seems to be in no rush to head to the polls, saying it will respect whatever timeline is put forward by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

AFC General Secretary Marlon Williams said the party is committed to respecting whatever decision GECOM makes regarding the elections timeline.

When asked if he would support expediting preparations to keep the constitutional deadline, Williams noted that elections by March are not practical.

Williams claimed that his party is ready for elections. He indicated that his reluctance to expedite GECOM’s preparations is because this is all new territory for the Commission, that is, hurriedly preparing for elections after a successful no-confidence motion.

Meanwhile, Williams was also accompanied by fellow party member Kenny Valledare, who represented the Youths For Change arm of the party.

Valledare threw his support behind calls for ensuring the voters list is cleansed, however long that may take.

Also present was representative of the AFC’s women arm, Cynthia Rutherford, who took the time to express confidence in her party’s coalition with A Partnership for National Unity.

She also expressed support for Government taking its case as far as the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), urging that it be expedited.

On Monday, the GECOM’s technical staff made presentations to the seven commissioners and advised that the earliest elections could be held is July 2019.

Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield and Roxanne Myers, Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO).

Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield had presented copies of work plans detailing what is needed to be done in preparation for General Elections, to the operations subcommittee.

However, this timeline is seen as a blatant breach of the Constitution of Guyana, which outlines that following the passage of a no-confidence motion, an election must be held within 90 days.

Acting Chief Justice Roxane George

The constitutional requirement was upheld by acting Chief Justice Roxane George on Thursday last when she held that the no-confidence motion was validly passed in the National Assembly.

According to People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C)-nominated Commissioner Sase Gunraj, the position taken by the technical staff was all a ruse. Gunraj expressed his belief that elections could be held sooner and that the work plan was being padded.

Gunraj had said the number of days allotted for training could be reduced. In fact, he believes that several activities could be compressed to achieve an earlier date for elections. But he made it clear that if the constitutional timelines were not followed by the Secretariat, that was tantamount to dereliction of duty.

The parliamentary Opposition, sections of the diplomatic community, Private Sector, civil society and other observers have called the Government out on its attempt to delay the holding of the constitutionally-mandated elections following the no-confidence resolution of December 21, 2018.

 

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