Wednesday’s meeting between President David Granger, his team and the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was deemed as a “good first meeting” by Leader of the Opposition, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo who said that elections must be held in 2019 as it was outlined in the President’s meeting agenda.
“Elections have to be held this year, the constitution says that. We believe that the President would not have put on the agenda operational readiness of GECOM if he did not think so. So I believe that they share our views that elections must be held” Jagdeo said.
Highlighting the topics that were discussed, the Leader noted that the Government did not say whether they will abide by the Constitution or not regarding elections but that discussing the matter is a good sign.
Additionally, the former President disclosed that the meeting was held with the intention of discussing matters pertaining to the National Assembly and functioning of Parliament following the passing of the no confidence motion.
Jagdeo said that the Opposition made it clear that Government’s hands are now tied when it comes to passing laws in Guyana.
However, as the country cannot remain without leadership, the coalition Government still has the responsibility to ensure that public interest and public order is maintained.
“The constitution spoke about a caretaker responsibility…The President made it clear that we cannot have a country without a government, so where public order and public interest is concerned we agree with that but Parliament must meet only for matters relating to elections and routine issues…Government should function more in a routine capacity, but we don’t want to have a country without a government” the Opposition Leader explained.
Further, Jagdeo noted that the legal action taken by Government to challenge the validity of the no confidence motion was discussed with the Opposition while stating that the Court should pay heed to the constitutional matter that impinges on a timeline.
“The court case was to strengthen their position in the talks…As far as we are concerned, the legislation has spoken not once but twice to say the motion was carried and for declining to review the motion…we made it clear that this legal remedy could take forever, maybe a year, so what happens in the meantime? Because that would defeat the purpose of the constitution…we said that the Court should pay heed to this constitutional matter that impinges on a timeline” Jagdeo said.
The territorial issues faced by Guyana since the passage of the motion was another topic of discussion.
According the Opposition Leader, Granger noted that the state of affairs in the country and the uncertainties over what will happen in the future may have led to the emboldenment of Venezuela to threaten our territorial integrity.
However, Jagdeo put forward that the Opposition who is also concerned about the future of Guyana will work with Government to ensure of the safety of its territory.
“I said that we are also very concerned about what is taking place now in the country, about people not being clear about their future…We have expressed on numerous occasions that the Government will have our full support of to deal with out territorial safety”.
Jagdeo said, beyond the contentious issues surrounding the motion, the Opposition would like to keep their minds open about how Guyana will be managed in the future.
He noted that both the Coalition and Opposition wants to ensure the stability of Guyana and as such will work together to overcome this issue.
“We want stability in our country and we don’t want a constitutional crisis or for Guyana to be viewed as a failed state. We don’t want that and we are glad that we had the meeting so we can work together to fix this” the Opposition Leader explained.