As there continues to be uncertainty surrounding when elections will be held in Guyana, a team of officials from the United States-based Carter Center met with Attorney General Basil Williams on Wednesday with the aim of getting a better understanding of the political situation here.
The two-hour long meeting was held at the Attorney General’s Office on Carmichael Street.
Following the meeting, Carter Center’s Associate Director – Democracy Program – Brett Lacy told reporters that the organisation is trying to get the various perspectives of the current situation.
“We were happy to have an opportunity to meet with the Attorney General, to hear from him about the laws of Guyana and to hear his various arguments relating to the current circumstances in Guyana… And I can say from the Carter Center, we are really just here to listen and we are hoping to meet with different actors to understand everyone’s perspective on current events in Guyana”.
Meanwhile, AG Basil Williams told media operatives at the press conference afterwards that he shared his government’s position with the Carter Center team. This includes the fact that Government is awaiting the decision of the appeal filed on the Chief Justice’s ruling on the House to House registration exercise.
The AG is expected to meet again with the Carter Center delegation, which is here for one week. The other representatives from the US-based organisation here are: Legal Analyst, Anne Marlborough; Political and Electoral Analyst, Nicoholas Jahr; and Senior Electoral Advisor, Carlos Valenzuela.
Only back March, another Carter Center delegation led by Jason Carter, the grandson of former US President Jimmy Carter, visited Guyana and met with local political stakeholders. In fact, after a meeting with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) at the time, the younger Carter posited that there was a lot of political desire to reach a solution but noted this will have to be done by the political leaders here.
Elections were constitutionally due since March 21, 2019 – following the passage of the December No-Confidence Motion against the current government. However, with the legal challenges which ensued, that timeline was on pause but was subsequently reinstated after the July 18, 2019 Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruling, which validated the passage of the motion.
Against this backdrop, the Opposition was pushing for elections before September 18, 2019. But President Granger is insisting that he cannot set a date without first being advised by GECOM on its readiness to host General and Regional Elections.